E-ALFA WG#7:       Synergies
Draft report             Version 1.0
Synergies with other ALFA Surveys
Multiple backends make commensal observing an exciting possibility
that will allow Arecibo to achieve multiple science goals while
surveying the sky. The other two consortiums are aimed at discovering
pulsars (P-ALFA) and surveying the Galaxy, primarily in HI (GALFA).
All consortiums have the common goal of surveying the Galactic Plane
($b = \pm 5$\deg), as well as the entire Arecibo sky to a shallower
level. P-ALFA would prefer as long of a dwell time as possible when
observing, but they would consider a slow drift if it was shown to be
productive for both sides. The Galactic Plane is their highest
priority and so they will be the most flexible with observing methods
out of the plane (i.e. commensal with the All-Arecibo-Sky E-ALFA
survey and GALFA Galactic Halo survey). The preferred GALFA observing
method is drift mode with Nyquist sampling and modest calibration.
This is compatible with the preferred observing method of E-ALFA.
Observing tests should be completed to determine the plausibility of
using drift scanning for part of the P-ALFA survey. GALFA and E-ALFA
should also work together in doing test observations to determine the
best time of day to observe and the characteristics of the ALFA beam.
The GALFA group is planning some preliminary observations to explore
options for data reduction (e.g. frequency switching vs. position switching).
Both GALFA and E-ALFA are interested in online reduction of the data.
Since these data reduction methods will have many similarities, these
two groups should communicate and hopefully ease the software
development burden. There will most likely be an overlap of velocity
coverage for E-ALFA and GALFA which can be used to increase the
sensitivity to local HI (after smoothing the GALFA data).
In order to maximize the usefulness and accesibility of the ALFA
surveys, it will be desirable to coordinate efforts not only on data
taking modes, backends, and reduction, but also on the definition of
data products, the software that will be produced to access those
products, data storage, etc. While the initial efforts of this group
will aim at an optimal definition for E-ALFA purposes, at a later
stage we will meet with the GALFA and P-ALFA groups, and a
representative of the NAIC ad hoc committee for data handling and
storage, to coordinate our efforts.
The synergies that E-ALFA will have with non-ALFA surveys depends
upon the clear scientific goals which are developed by the first
working group. We will await their first order report before
investigating these external synergies.
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Last modified: Wed May 14 08:28:34 EDT 2003