UK ALMA ARC NODE

ALMA OST: Latest News

Version 4.0


OST User Message: 05/04/2017


Dear OST Users,

At approximately 1627 UTC on April 4th 2017 the OST machine reached it memory limit. As such Jobs submitted after this time until now (0920 UTC April 5th) were submitted to a full machine, meaning the uploaded files and webform content were not stored. We therefore cannot process these jobs.

Those submissions effected had Job ID numbers:

We apologise for this problem and recommend resubmitting your simulations. Thankyou all for the using the OST and again we apologise for this issue.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 05/04/2016

OST User Notice: 21/03/2017


Dear OST Users,

We are pleased to announce the release of the OST version 5. This version is released to coincide with the ALMA Cycle 5 Call for Proposal period. Version 5.0 includes the ten Cycle 5 antenna configurations (+ one ACA configuration) and other improvements/bug fixes.

In addition to this, version 5.0 now allows users to upload their own pointing file (in CASA format), to allow mosaics of arbitary geometry. Please see the pointing section of the OST help for more information on this new feature, particular pointing file formatting and noise/sensitivity considerations!

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 21/03/2017

OST User Notice: 20/02/2017


Dear OST Users,

In preparation for the upcoming ALMA Cycle 5 Call for Proposal period the OST will be upgraded to version 5.0. This upgrade will be released on Tuesday the 21st March 2017, the same date as the CfP is expected to be announced. Version 5.0 will include the the Cycle 5 antenna configurations and other improvements to reflect ALMA's Cycle 5 capabilities.
The upgrade does mean that the OST may be unavailable on Monday 20th March. We apologise in advance for any inconvience caused.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 20/02/2017

OST User Message: 23/09/2016


Dear OST Users,

At approximately 0140 UTC the OST machine reached it memory limit. As such Jobs submitted after this until now (1324) were submitted to a full machine, meaning the uploaded files and webform content were not stored. We therefore cannot process these jobs. We apologise for this problem and recommend resubmitting your simulations. Thankyou all for the using the OST and again we apologise for this issue.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 23/09/2016

OST Usage Report: 26/05/2015


Dear OST Users,

A review of OST Usage during the recent ALMA Cycle 3 Call for Proposals (CfP) can be found here.
The usage during this CfP was greater than during any previous Cycle, with the daily usage a factor of 1.6x greater than the Cycle 2 CfP.
This review covers OST daily usage, simulation response times, international OST usage and comparisons to OST usage during previous ALMA CfPs.
The UK ARC Node would like to thank all OST users for their support and use of the OST and wish them the best of luck with their ALMA proposals.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 26/05/2015

OST User Message: 21/04/2015


Dear OST Users,

As we approach the ALMA Cycle 3 deadline, the increased activity on the OST means that disk space becomes limited. Last night the OST machine reached it memory limit. As such Jobs submitted after 2246 GMT we submitted to a full machine, meaning the uploaded files and webform content were not stored. We therefore cannot process these jobs. We apologise for this problem and recommend resubmitting your simulations. We have now placed a 12 hour limit on the storage of data from OST simulations, so please ensure you download and store your simulations as soon as they are complete. Thankyou all for the using the OST and again we apologise for this issue. Good luck with your ALMA proposals this cycle!

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 21/04/2015

OST User Message: 16/04/2015


Dear OST Users,

As we approach the ALMA Cycle 3 deadline, the increased activity on the OST means that disk space becomes limited. To avoid exceeding the OST's maximum disk space, we are temporarily truncating the amount of time Users simulations are held on the OST machine, from the normal 6 days to 2 days. We will restore the 6 day limit after the Cycle 3 deadline.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 16/04/2015

OST User Message: 07/04/2015


Dear OST User,

We have upgraded the output of the OST to give images with axis in relative arcsecond values (rather than pixel values). The axis are relative to the central pixel of the image. The OST created FITS or CASA image will have true coordinate axis, at user specificed Dec and RA=0.0h as normal. Please let us know if this new feature exhibits any unusual or unexpected behaviour. We urge users to always refer to the axis coordinates in the OST generate FITS or CASA image for the pixel scales.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 07/04/2015

OST User Message: 02/04/2015


Dear OST User,

We have temporarily reduced the size of FITS cube the OST will process in spectral mode. This is due to some larger cubes taking much great processing times than expected. The cause of this is being investigated. We hope to reinstate the original limit after the Easter weekend when more computing power will be brought online. Cube of with less than approx. 60 channels should still be able to be processed. We apologise for this and thank-you for the continued use of the OST and for bearing with us through this temporary issue,

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 02/04/2015

OST User Message: 24/03/2015


Dear OST User,

As you will see there is now a new version of the ALMA OST. We have thoroughly tested this new version but would ask that any issues be reported to us via the ALMA helpdesk as soon as they are noticed.
We have come across only a single issue so far. This issue is that there seems to be a problem when the OST generates the ACA part of an ALMA+ACA simulation for simulations started at negative Hour Angle=-1.
This is a very specific error and we are working to get to the root of the issue. For the time being we would advise simulating ALMA and ACA observations separately. We apologise for this and thank-you for the continued use of the OST and for bearing with us through this temporary issue,

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 24/03/2015

OST Important Message: 26/02/2015. OST DOWNTIME


Dear OST Users,

The ALMA Cycle 3 Call for Proposals is due to be announced on March 24th 2015.

Since the end of the Cycle 2 Call for Proposals a new version, version 3.0, of the OST has been created. Version 3.0 includes some new features, such as some spectral FITS cube capability, enhanced continuum spectral window positioning and a new dynamic web-form which enables the OST to maintain its ease of use whilst allowing for the more complex observation ALMA is now capable of.

In preparation for the release of the OST version 3.0 and the ALMA Cycle 3 Call for Proposals, the OST version 2.0 will be taken offline on Friday 13th March and the OST will remain unavailable until Monday 23rd March when version 3.0 will be brought online, in time for the ALMA Cycle 3 CfP the following day.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused during this downtime,

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 26/02/2015

OST User Message: 28/11/2013


Dear OST User,

As we approach the ALMA Cycle 2 deadline, the increased activity on the OST means that queues are getting longer. To avoid excessive queuing times (and to overcome an as yet undiagnosed issue with some users submission) we have temporarily removed one of the two UV coverage plots the OST usually outputs. The uv-coverage plot in question is the colourmap version, not the uv-coverage plotted as blue points. This should decrease the total running time of each job, and ensure reliable OST functioning whilst we fix the problem encountered by this plot for some users.

If you would strongly like the uv-coverage colourmap restored please contact Adam.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 28/11/2013

OST User Message: 27/11/2013 UPDATE 03/12/2013


Dear OST User,

As we approach the ALMA Cycle 2 deadline, the increased activity on the OST means that disk space becomes limited. To avoid exceeding the OST's maximum disk space, we are temporarily truncating the amount of time Users simulations are held on the OST machine, from the normal 14 days to 2 5 days. We will restore the 14 day limit after the Cycle 2 deadline.

Thank you,

The OST Team. - 27/11/2013

OST Importat Message: 25/11/2013


Dear OST User,

As some users maybe aware the availability of the OST over the past weekend (and today) has been inconsistent. This is due to problems experienced by the JBCA (host of the OST) network during this time. These issues are now hopefully resolved and OST functionality should continue as normal.

If you submitted an OST simulation over the weekend/earlier today and did *NOT* recieve a response, we encourage you to resubmit that simulation. It is possible that some jobs were lost during the network outage and we have no ability to confirm if this was or was not the case.

Thank you for the continued use of the OST and for bearing with us through these temporary problems,

The OST Team. - 25/11/2013

OST Special Message: 23/09/2013


Dear OST User,

As you maybe aware the time line for ALMA Cyle 2 has been announced, including the Call for Proposal start date and deadline (Please see here for more information). The Cycle 2 version of the OST is toward the end of development and will be released to coincide with the Call for Proposal period.

The week prior to the OST Cycle 2 version being released the current version (Version 1.2 [ALMA Cycle 1]) will be taken down so that 'on-server' testing of the new version can take place.

Thank you for the continued use of the OST and for you patients whilst we bring the Cycle 2 version on line,

The OST Team. - 23/09/2013

OST Special Message: 06/08/2013


Dear OST User,

Within the past 72 hours Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics which hosts the OST has experienced some internal networking issues. These have inturn affected jobs submitted to the OST, partially corrupting user uploaded data and deleting submitted OST jobs. Our local system now seems to be once again fully operational.

We apologise to those affected by this issue and ask them to resubmit any jobs they think may have been lost during this time.

Thanks,

The OST Team. - 06/08/2013

OST Special Message: 14/03/2013


Dear OST User,

We have just implemented a slight tweak in our routine to check if an uploaded file is indeed a FITS file. This is to overcome an occassional memory leak we have been experiencing. Our testing shows this method is more robust, however if you do experience a problem, particularly if you are confident your FITS file is valid please email Adam.

Thanks,

The OST Team. - 14/03/2013

OST Special Message: 25/02/2013


The OST Team would like to apologise for the distruption to the OST service over the weekend. The cause of the failure is being investigated and will be remedied in the new OST version, due for release for the ALMA Cyle 2 call for proposal period. No user data was lost during this period of OST inactivity. Thank-you for you patience.

The OST Team. - 25/02/2013

OST Special Message: 26/11/2012


Following the resolution of the disk overload issue on 23/11/2012, a second problem caused the OST to freeze over the weekend. The problem has now been resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank users for their patience.

The OST Team. - 26/11/2012

OST Special Message: 23/11/2012


Many apologies to anyone who submitted jobs between 1120 and 1300 on 23/11/2012; any jobs submitted during this time were lost due to a disc partition becoming full unexpectedly. This issue has now been resolved, however jobs which were submitted were unfortunately lost. Please resubmit you OST jobs. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The OST Team. - 23/11/2012

OST Special Message: 12/11/2012


Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics which hosts the ALMA OST in the UK ARC Node is currently experiencing network difficulties. As such the OST is currently not available.

Once the network problems have been resolved the OST will be back to full operations.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

UPDATE 19/11/2012: This issue has now been resolved.

The OST Team. - 12/11/2012

OST Special Message: 10/08/2012


Due to scheduled maintainence of the power systems at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (home of the OST) on Wednesday the 15th and Friday the 17th of August 2012, the OST will be unavailable for most or parts of both these days.

The OST should be back to full operation by Monday the 20th August 2012 at the very latest.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

The OST Team. - 10/08/2012

OST Special Message: 10/07/2012


Due to the current high demand on the OST, the number of days a users simulation is stored on the system before being deleted has been reduced from the standard 12 days to 5 (it was briefly 7 but this proved insufficient a cut!).

The OST remains unchanged otherwise so if your submission is removed but you require it again, you can simply repeat the simulation as before and you will recieve the same result.

Sorry for any inconvenience and thanks to all OST users for using the OST.

The OST Team. - 10/07/2012

OST Special Message: 03/07/2012


Many apologies to anyone who submitted jobs between July 2 1820 and July 3 0953; these jobs were lost due to a disc partition becoming full. These were the numbers:

20120702182033kZWVR       
20120702193043KxHxK       
20120702214959cuOoq       
20120702220649PSNxo       
20120702231431nxXYp       
20120703015842ZGsMD       
20120703052546NqwrX       
20120703085140PAsIA       
20120703091731mPfKD  
20120703091913QpSLr  
20120703092452IXClO  
20120703092535HpVnF
20120703093228fpHgS
20120703093254OocaN
20120703093306DMHQX
20120703094132TPTWj
20120703094952ZuuCT
20120703095329vWTaa
This failure was not due to any of these jobs and they can be resubmitted as safely as any other simulation.

Sorry for any inconvenience,

The OST Team. - 03/07/2012

OST Special Message: 26/06/2012


Hello to everyone at the ESO ALMA Community Day! Hope you have a good day!

The OST Team. - 26/06/2012

OST Technical Difficulties: 18/06/2012


The OST is now back to full functionality, the problem arose in CASA 3.4's new feature of requiring optimised image sizes to ensure time efficiency in the clean algorithm.

OST users simulations are now scaled to have an optimum number of integers to ensure this matches cleans requirements.

The OST recently switched from CASA 3.3 to CASA 3.4, after this switch a minor technical difficulty has arisen making the OST loose functionality. As such we have temporarily disabled the OST.

We will restore this OST as soon as this has been fixed.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

The OST Team. - 18/06/2012

OST Important Message: 31/05/2012


We have just released the ALMA OST Version 1.2. This is an upgrade to reflect ALMA capabilities in Cycle 1.

The new features are documented in the help documentation.

Though the new OST version has been tested extensively, please let us know of any problems you experience at this email address

The OST Team. - 31/05/2012

OST Important Message: 25/05/2012


Between Today (25/05/2012) and Thursday the 31st of May 2012, the OST will be upgraded. The upgrade will include a number of new features to reflect ALMA Cycle 1 capabilities.

During this time there maybe times when the OST is unavailable and a holding page put in place of the normal webpage. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused. It is our aim to have the ALMA OST Version 1.2 fully functional by the ALMA Cycle 1 call for proposals announcement.

The OST Team. - 25/05/2012

OST Message: 03/10/2011


After this weekends power switch-off at the JBCA, the OST is now back to normal!

The OST Team. - 03/10/2011

OST Important Message: 22/09/2011


Due to planned maintenance on at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, (home of the ALMA OST), the OST will be offline from 1500 Friday September 30th 2011 until approximately 1000 on Monday October 3rd 2011. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The OST Team. - 22/09/2011

OST Important Message: 01/09/2011 EDIT 05/09/2011


Regarding last weeks technical difficulties the OST is now back to full functionality. The only remaining issues are somewhat cosmetic and DO NOT affect the OSTs function.

Due to some recent technical issues which have arrisen at JBCA where the OST is hosted, the OST is experiencing some minor problems at the moment. Full functionality will hopefully be reinstated later today.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

The OST Team. - 01/09/2011

OST News 05/07/2011


The OST Team would like to say thank-you to all the users of the OST during the ALMA Cycle 0 proposal call and wish them all the best of luck with their proposals.

Thank-you again for using the OST.

The OST Team. - 05/07/2011

OST Important Message 24/06/2011 EDIT 28/06/11


Due to the recent surge in usage of the OST we are implementing a time limit on the length of time an OST output will be available on the web of 12 14 days.

As the ALMA deadline is approaching access to all OST simulations is clearly important, as such whilst the data of older simulations will not be available online it will be stored at the UK ARC and available upon request. To request data for simulations older than 12 14 days please email OST Admin with the OST Job ID number (e.g. 20110624123456ukARC) of the desired simulation. We will aim to respond with the data within one working day (UK time).

Alternatively, due to the short processing time of OST simulations it is possible to repeat a simulation very quickly.

Thank you for using the OST.

The OST Team. - 24/06/2011

OST Important Message 20/06/2011


A temporary memory fault between 1534 and 1609 BST (UT+1) on June 20 2011 caused the jobs submitted in this time (6 in total) to be missing key information required to run these simulations. As such we have had to remove these submissions from the queue. Part of the missing information is the users e-mail address so we are unable to contact them directly. We apologise for the inconvenience, however, the memory issue has now been resolved and the OST will function as normal.

Our apologies again. Thank-you..

The OST Team. - 20/06/2011

OST News 20/06/2011


A paper regarding the OST is now a now available on arXiv (arxiv.org/abs/1106.3516). The paper is to appear in the proceedings of Astronomy with Megastructures: Joint Science with the E-ELT and SKA. This is the recommended article for use when referencing the ALMA OST.

The OST Team. - 20/06/2011

OST News 14/06/2011


A new page listing the minimum requirements for FITS images which the OST requires has now been added to the help documentation. It can be found at http://almaost.jb.man.ac.uk/help/FITS_parameters.html.

The OST Team. - 14/06/2011

OST Important Message 13/06/2011


A solution to the CD matrix issues (see below) for user uploaded FITS files has now been implemented and allows the OST to successfully process these files. We will continue to monitor the processing of these images to ensure the solution covers all eventualities.

We would like to thank the CASA team for their help in solving this matter and the OST users for their patience.

The OST Team. - 13/06/2011

OST Important Message 10/06/2011 0900hrs:Edit- 10/06/2011 1515hrs


It has recently come to our attention that user uploaded FITS files which use the CD matrix FITS header keywords are not being handled correctly by the OST backend.

This problem leads to the OST failing to process these jobs, freezing the OST or occasionally stalling the OST server.

Images from the following instruments are known to contain the CD matrix keywords and lead to the aforementioned problem:

In collaboration with the CASA team a solution has now been found which will be implemented into the OST. Due to the need to test this solution we expect it to be in place by 14/06/2011.

Until then an IDL script which will convert between CD matrix and CDELT is available here (NOTE this requires the IDL astrolib library). Alternately we recommend where possible using FITS files which do not contain the CD matrix keywords but instead use the CDELT1/CDELT2 keywords.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank-you for using the OST.

The OST Team. - 10/06/2011.

OST Update 31/05/2011


On the 31st of May 2011 a number of upgrades were added to the OST moving it from version 1.0 to version 1.1.

These upgrades are as follows:

The OST Team. - 31/05/2011.