Observing Operations | Reviews | Survey Management

Agenda for the NSF Panel Review at Fermilab
Racetrack 7th floor Wilson Hall
December 11 –12, 2000


December 11


Executive Session



Director’s Overview – J. Peoples


This presentation will outline the high-level science goals of the SDSS, including a description of the baseline survey and the progress toward it to date. It will outline the plan to distribute the data to the astronomical community. Also included will be a summary of the two recent readiness reviews and the project’s response to the reports generated by those reviews. The project organization (which has been changed in response to those reviews) will be described.  An outline of the request to the NSF will be presented, the details of which will be included in the talk given by Boroski. It will describe the flow of the presentations to follow, including a brief listing of the challenges which Gunn will discuss in his presentation.






Project Scientist’s Overview – J. Gunn


This talk will cover the scientific objectives, accomplishments to date, an overview of the technical status of the project, and remaining tasks and challenges, including remaining critical software pipeline development issues.



Status of Observing Systems – C. Rockosi


This will cover in more detail the status of the telescopes, instruments, and supporting hardware, and will discuss planned improvements and fixes.



Status of Data Processing and Distribution – C. Stoughton


This talk will include a description of the factory for production data processing and the plan and schedule to finish the data processing factory.  The facilities for pipeline development will be described, together with the plan and schedule to incorporate the features which are needed to meet the requirements. It will describe the flow of data from the instruments to the Science Database (SX) and files sent to the collaboration. It will include a description of the data products that will be released to the collaboration and astronomical community.  It will outline a brief description of what has to be done to release the data and the schedule for the early release. The emphasis will be on the data products that will be distributed on the website. Szalay’s talk will cover future SX development and the long term more complete distribution to the astronomical community and the collaboration..



Status of Photometric Calibration  - D. Hogg


This presentation will give a brief summary of the status of the photometric calibration and plans to further refine and validate the calibration process.



Lunch in the Racetrack for the Panel



Tour of the Feynman Computer Center



Operations and Survey Strategy – S. Kent


This presentation will include a description of the operational flow of the project: the observations, imaging data acquisition, data processing, target selection, plate drilling, and spectroscopic observations.  It will include a more complete summary of our accomplishments (statistics of survey quality data).  It will also describe the ‘tactical’ tools that we use to keep track of survey progress and inefficiencies and the work remaining to complete these tools. It will conclude with our efficiency goals.



Status of Software Development for Data Distribution – A. Szalay


This talk will describe the status of the Science Database (SX) and the plan and schedule to complete its development. Emphasis will be on the placed on its application to distribution to the astronomical community. It will describe the plan to distribute the atlas images and the corrected frames to the astronomy community.  It will describe how the SDSS and its archive might fit into the science data grid of the future (GriPhyn, STScI, and NVO). 



Executive Session



Project Manager’s report on Schedule and Budget – B. Boroski


The presentation will provide a more detailed description of how we have responded and will respond to the priorities/scheduling issues that were raised in the two readiness reviews.  It will present the project schedule for 2001, and will detail the NSF budget request in the framework of the overall operations cost for a five-year survey.



Education and Outreach – R. Kron


This talk will review our accomplishments in terms of undergraduate and graduate education (involving students with research), and career advancement for postdoctoral fellows.  Separately, this talk will outline some ideas related to broader educational efforts, specifically what can be accomplished with partnerships with science museums.



Executive Session for the Panel


(We request that the Panel gives the SDSS written questions by 6:30)



Review Panel dinner at a nearby restaurant.


The SDSS members will have a working dinner together to review the questions and responses for Day 2.


December 12


Executive Session (includes a break for the Panel)




Two fifteen-minute science talks to be given by students and post docs associated with the project team.


X. Fan – SDSS and QSOs


R. Scranton – SDSS Large Scale Structure (W (θ)




Response to questions from the Review Panel



Presentations End


The Panel returns to hotel to write their report.


Some notes for all speakers;

Jim Breckinridge (NSF) has asked that the sequence of presentations flow from the science to be accomplished (Peoples , Gunn), to science measurement objectives (Gunn), to how these measurement objectives lead to functional requirements (Gunn), and finally how the hardware and software are driven by the functional requirements. The data distribution to the astronomical community is driven by a different goal, the desire of NASA and the NSF to distribute the data beyond the SDSS consortium so that they may use the SDSS Archive for science.  The presentations should describe the significant changes that have occurred since the SDSS proposal was submitted to the NSF; your material should be current as of December 4. Since we expect questions from the mail reviewers (the 10 reviewers who received the proposal by mail), the presentations should also address those issues.  I have asked that we receive the mail reviewers comments by November 17. Presentations the second day by the project will respond to the requests made and questions raised by the Review Panel members.

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