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The meeting was held via teleconference. This format worked well and is a viable means of having a check-in between Fall meetings of the CUC.
Tiziana di Matteo, Tim Kallman, Hironori Matsumoto, and Joan Wrobel were unable to join. However, Joan separately spoke with Paul Green and Belinda Wilkes regarding a potential joint program between Chandra and NRAO for ALMA. Beyond the CUC itself, Harvey Tananbaum, Belinda Wilkes, Paul Green, Wilt Sanders, and Allyn Tennant were also able to join the meeting.
Belinda Wilkes summarized the results of the 2012 NASA Senior Review. The committee was very favorable in its evaluation of Chandra. The CUC congratulates the mission on an excellent performance at the review. The scientific returns and economy of the mission were clear in many review metrics. The following two things are worth noting:
The Senior Review committee endorsed Chandra's proposed request for an augmentation to Guest Observer funding. This is great news for the observing community. Due to funding limitations, NASA awarded half of the augmentation.
The Senior Review committee noted that the observing time restricted for the Chandra Guaranteed Time Observations program should be competed openly. NASA has responded to this and will not require a modification of the GTO program.
Paul Green reported on efforts to establish joint observing programs with new and future observatories. Notably:
A program with NuSTAR has not been developed yet; efforts are ongoing.
Astro-H will likely launch in 2014, providing additional time to work through the details of a joint observing program.
The need to develop a joint program with ALMA is more urgent, since ALMA is commencing observations. Talks with the new NRAO director are underway to see if ALMA can be included in the existing joint program between Chandra and NRAO.
The CUC strongly supports initiatives to retain joint observing programs and to create new ones. Such programs help to ensure that Chandra's scientific reach is as great as possible.
Pursuant to the recommendations developed in the last CUC meeting in October 2011, Chandra is working on implementing a new database to help track how data are used, and how many publications result. The CUC applauds this effort.
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