Science > Surveys > VLASS > VLASS Survey Science Group (SSG)

VLASS Survey Science Group (SSG)

by Steven Myers last modified Nov 29, 2018 by Claire Chandler

Survey Science Group (SSG)

The SSG is tasked with discussing and developing the science case for the VLASS and defining the survey. Participation in the SSG activities is open to all interested members of the community (including non-radio astronomers and educators). The primary mechanism for participating in the SSG is through active engagement with one or more of the Science Working Groups (SWGs, see below).

The SSG is led by a board made up of the SSG chair and co-chair, along with the chairs and co-chairs of the SWGs plus a number of "at large" members. The initial goal of the SSG was to define the survey and write the science case for the survey proposal. Now that the survey has been approved, the SSG's role is defined by the following terms of reference:

  1. Work with NRAO to ensure that any changes to the design and/or calibration plans that arise out of pre-survey testing preserve or enhance the key VLASS Extragalactic, Galactic, Transient, and Polarization Science goals, to the extent possible.

  2. Work with NRAO to optimize the design of the pilot survey, to take place summer 2016.

  3. Work with NRAO to interpret early test data to guide the ultimate design and schedule of the survey.

  4. Assist NRAO in the planning for pipelines, data products and archiving, and developing community plans for extended data products to maximize the scientific return from VLASS.

  5. Assist NRAO in maintaining and developing community outreach and education and outreach activities for VLASS.

  6. Review any survey documentation and any survey description papers to be released to the community.

The SSG may also be requested to participate in VLASS design reviews as needed.

SSG Board

SSG Board Co-Chairs: Shami Chatterjee (Cornell) and Tracy Clarke (NRL)

Working Group co-chairs:

Extragalactic Working Group: Gordon Richards (Drexel), Jamie Farnes (Oxford)

Galactic Working Group: Laurent Loinard (UNAM)

Transients & Variability  Working Group: Gregg Hallinan (Caltech), Greg Sivakoff (Alberta)

Science Communication: Amy Kimball (NRAO), Eric Murphy (NRAO)

Education/Outreach: Susana Deustua (STScI), Jessica Harris (NRAO)

Polarization Working Group: Larry Rudnick (Minnesota), Bryan Gaensler (Toronto)

Commensal Science Working Group: Casey Law (Berkeley), Kunal Mooley (NRAO/Caltech)

Data Products and Archiving Working Group: Shea Brown (Iowa), Erik Rosolowsky (Alberta)

Expert Community Members at Large:

Nicole Gugliucci (Anselm), Russ Taylor (Cape Town), Rick White (STScI), Stefi Baum (Manitoba), Rachel Osten (STScI), Joseph Lazio (JPL), Jayanne English (Manitoba)

SSG Board, 2016-2018 (responsible for kicking off the survey):

SSG Board Co-Chairs: Stefi Baum (U. Manitoba) and Shami Chatterjee (Cornell)

Working Group co-chairs: Extragalactic Working Group: Gordon Richards (Drexel), Amy Kimball (NRAO); Galactic Working Group: Rachel Osten (STScI), Joe Lazio (JPL); Transients & Variability  Working Group: Gregg Hallinan (Caltech), Greg Sivakoff (Alberta); Communication/Education/Outreach: Susana Deustua (STScI), Jayanne English (Manitoba); Polarization Working Group: Larry Rudnick (Minnesota), Bryan Gaensler (Toronto); Survey Implementation Working Group: Casey Law (Berkeley), Kunal Mooley (Oxford); Data Products and Archiving Working Group: Eric Murphy (NRAO), Erik Rosolowsky (Alberta)

Expert Community Members at Large: Jim Condon (NRAO), Jim Cordes (Cornell), Nicole Gugliucci (Anselm), Russ Taylor (Cape Town), Rick White (STScI), Ashley Zauderer (NYU), Tracy Clarke (NRL)

Original SSG Governing Council, 2014-2016 (responsible for the survey proposal):

SSG Co-Chairs: Stefi Baum (RIT) and Eric Murphy (IPAC)

Working Group co-chairs: Programmatics Co-Chairs: Jim Condon (NRAO), Rick White (STSCI); Galactic Co-Chairs: Rachel Osten (STSCI), Joe Lazio (JPL), Ex-Co-Chair: Cornelia Lang (U Iowa); Extragalactic Co-Chairs: Jackie Hodge (NRAO), Gordon Richards (Drexel); Transients & Variability Co-Chairs: Gregg Hallinan (Caltech), Ashley Zauderer (CfA); Communication/Education/Outreach Co-Chairs: Susana Deustua (STSCI), Nicole Gugliucci (CosmoQuest); Technical WG Co-Chairs: Casey Law (UC Berkeley), Steve Myers (NRAO)

At-large councilors: Niel Brandt (Penn State), Jim Cordes (Cornell), Mark Dickinson (NOAO), Tracy Clarke (NRL), Joe Lazio (JPL), Sui Ann Mao (U Wisc), Michael Strauss (Princeton)

Science Working Groups

The categories for the SWG represent areas of interest or concern for the definition and implementation of the VLASS.

Science Working Groups:

  • Galactic - The Milky Way and close companions. Includes: stars, gas, dust, compact objects, galactic magnetic field and dynamo, galactic structure, astrochemistry, stellar and planetary system formation, molecular cloud dynamics, planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, galactic masers, etc.
  • Extragalactic - The Universe outside the Milky Way: Includes: cosmology, large scale structure, dark matter and dark energy, galaxy evolution, active galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes, cosmic magnetism.
  • Transients and Variability - Special issues for variable, bursting, and transient sources (galactic and extragalactic in origin) and discovery of new phenomena in the time domain. Includes: stellar flares, AGN variability, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption events around black holes, compact object mergers and gravity-wave events, and other issues such as multiwavelength follow-up of transient events.
  • Survey Implementation Working Group - Issues and techniques for observing, the processing of the survey data, and production of data products. Includes: scheduling, observing, calibration, imaging, object identification and catalogs, error analysis and likelihood functions, optimal array configurations, simulations, and other issues like software and algorithms research and development.
  • Communication / Education / Outreach - Issues and initiatives for increasing the visibility and utility of the VLASS in the context of education and public awareness, and encouraging wider participation by a more diverse user base. Includes: links to other surveys and communities, communication opportunities, education at all levels, citizen science, outreach, social media, internet-enabled collaboratoria, events.
  • NRAO Data Products, Archiving and Enhanced Data Products working Group  - issues related to the definition, storage and distribution of both the NRAO Basic Data Products and the Enhanced Data Products to be produced by the community.

Working and Communicating with the Working Groups

We are using a Google Group to communicate within and between the Science Working Groups. New members are welcome to sign up by visiting the link.

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