Notes from the ESS All-Hands.

I didn’t realize it had been most of a week since I last posted. Yikes.

Here’s the usual brain dump.

Flash news – Tropical Storm Alberto has come ashore.

Joe started with acknowledgement: Tony Krueger’s AURA award, Christine Ritchie and Tony Rodgers for the PC and preprocessor software; Rob Hawkins, Brian Sietz and Christine for the SPIKE GUI. Warren Hack and Perry Greenfield for work on JWST test work; Alan Welty for taking over HST commanding; JWST OSS Team for their work on JWST commanding; and Lisa Gardner for the PROMPT revival work. Lee Quick has her second BS in Info Systems from JHU. And finally, Mike Bielefeld is leaving at the end of June.

Some announcements: Shelley Marshall has been here a month and a half. Warren Miller is in HSTMO working on the HLA project; we’ll likely post a new CE position. The AURA Voluntary Early Retirement program is available 6/15 to 8/31. You have to be 55 or 57 and be hired before 1/1/2001.

Financials: We’re out of the woods for FY06; still no news on the HST contract, just rumours. We’re not expecting any budget change for FY07.

The Picnic is Friday.

—-

Pete Stockman gave a talk on JWST status.

NGST has completed a high-bay for observatory integration – the OTE will be integrated at Goddard and then mated to the spacecraft in the new bay. The 18 beryllium mirror blanks are all complete and being polished. Two are down to final polishing stage. They’ve also done a demonstration of a detector to get the mirror segments aligned to within a micron. That gets us to the starting point for our wavefront alignment system.

The supports for the mirror segments are even more complicated than Peter understood, but that’s necessary to keep from distorting the mirror segments itself. That integration is stsrting. The other thing that’s getting ready is the cryotank for thermal-vac testing. The decision to do the testing with the mirror facing up (rather than down) is a big cost and time saver — 3months and $100 million dollars.

The hardware for the Backplane Stability test is all fabricated – Warren and Perry are working on the software – and that will go into a chamber at Marshall to show that we can do the metrology on the mirror backplane. The frame gets hung on wires, and the goal is to make sure that the frame expands and contracts only in-plane. If the frame distorts out-of-plane, it means we can’t focus the main mirror, which would be A Bad Thing. This is one of the Technology Readiness Level-6 milestones, which is key for getting through the Non-Advocate Review in January.

Next year we’ll do the rest of the mirror fine machining, do the sunshield folding model test, and a bunch of CDRs for things like the fast steering mirror.

It’s a big mirror composed of 18 segments with a nice hold in the middle. Each segment is independently steered and focused on a rigid (we hope) backplane.

All the instruments have passed PDR. NIRCam has a bunch of hardware already done, NIRSpec is coming along and have picked their flight detector candidates. NIRSpec’s shutter array is a set of tiny little doors (365 by 171 elements) to pick objects to take spectra of. Very cool, and part of the ITAR restriction rationale. GGS and MIRI are starting to build test hardware.

At STScI: We’ve had two PRDS tools, FITSWriter, Point Spread Function software, work on onboard commanding scripts, calibration plans, system architecture support, etc. Spent a bunch of time talking about the 4D work to support the Marshall test. Trying to take out 100 angstrom vibration and take huge amounts of data (order of 14TBytes) to look at the backplane components.

FY07 funding is the same, but most people got a small raise, so we’re doing more with less. There are a bunch of things to do in FY07, including planning for the start of real SOC development in FY08. The big system engineering things are interfaces between subsystems, and to the outside world, and some small-scale operations concepts. FY08 is supposed to be a 30 person staff-up.

Carl went through his talk on the Network and Storage Upgrade project. I’m not going to reiterate what I wrote before, just some comments on the changes.

The tie on Carl’s door means Joe isn’t allowed to bother him. This project is what Carl has been doing for the last six months. The goal is to get network and storage upgraded to 1Gbps to the desktop and central storage. Carl’s goal: Show Me The Money.

The old model worked okay (even well) when we were pushing small amounts (many megabytes or so) around. When we’re doubling every 18 months the model falls apart.

Why does data volume increase faster than archive volume? Because we’re doing more with the data – mosaicing, drizzle, associations – that we keep intermediate products for and make multiple products with. The network will be (is?) the showstopper for doing collaborative work.

People who worked on Carl’s tests agreed that the new centralized model would work if there was a scaleable solution, both storage and network performance. The solution has to be used by everybody (pretty much) to be effective.

Muller building will go 1 Gb to the desktop; Bloomberg will not upgrade.

Backup is a big driver for both central storage and information lifecycle management.

For fixed desktops, the sharing model is pretty well udnerstood. For mobile users like me, it’s still not understood real well.

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