Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Date: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Location: GSFC, Building 34, Room W305

8:30 Coffee and Conversation  
9:00 Intro and Goals for the Meeting Frail
9:15 Mission Status McEnery
9:30 Observations Status (modified survey, survey, ToO) McEnery
9:45 Senior Review and Discussion of Report Recommendations McEnery/Frail
10:15 Break  
10:45 GBM Status Paciesas
11:00 Searching for SGRB in the Continuous TTE Data Briggs
11:15 LAT Status Michelson
11:45 Discussion  
12:00 Lunch  
1:00 FSSC and GI Program Status Shrader
1:30 Software Status Davis
1:45 FSSC Ops Status
Animating Fermi
2:00 Pointlike Plans Ferrara
2:15 Discussion  
2:30 Break  
3:00 Fermi Symposium Racusin
3:15 Fermi Summer School TBD

Reccomendations from the FUG

(1) The recent switch of observing away from the GC pointing mode to a campaign mode toward PSR 1259-63 appears to made quickly and with little notice to the community. This was in contrast to the careful and deliberate way that modified LAT observing strategy toward the GC was undertaken. The FUG was made aware that this might happen during our the last meeting, but the rest of the community was not. We re-iterate that such events like the periastron passage of PSR 1259-63 are predictable well in advance. Fermi science operations could be more proactive, i.e. interested groups should be encouraged to submit proposals through the regular process so that this science can be evaluated against the entire program.

(2) We were asked whether it made sense for Fermi to undertake more DDT/ToOs in the future. We suggest that the Fermi team look into the pros and cons of doing more ToOs before the next face-to-face FUG meeting. Questions to consider include: anticipated level of interest, staffing resources needed, whether the current evaluation process is sufficient, etc.

(3) We were asked whether the GC pointing should stop in December 2014 or extend to make up a full 1 year (i.e. adding an extra two months). Fernando will get input from the pulsar community about the added science value of having a full 1 year integration with a 2 month gap in between. We will report back.

(4) We discussed the recommendations coming out of the SR2014 regarding grants funding. The only strong consensus coming out of the meeting was that the level of cuts in grants suggested by the SR Committee were too large. It may be that the FSSC may seek to keep the success fraction constant through some balance of reducing the number of awards with a modest reduction (say 10% or $10k) in the cap. If the FSSC brings some additional data to the next meeting, we can discuss this issue again ahead of the RfP.

(5) The FUG feels strongly that any obvious errors identified in the SR Committee Report should be corrected by (a) sending a note to NASA HQ and (b) finding some way of correcting the error publicly.

(6) The current situation with the 2-year grants was discussed. The view of the FUG is that no special changes are needed. We think that the success fraction of the 2-year grants could be improved simply through better education and awareness during pre-TAC meeting briefings.

(7) Fermi Symposium. Please get the circular out asap and distribute info asap. This is an expensive far-away meeting need and the community has to make arrangements soon.

(8) The quality of the presentations during the FUG meeting remains high. In future meetings the FUG would appreciate if the speakers ask questions or identify issues that you want the FUG to address. Finally, please allow time for a closed-door session at the end of the meeting so the FUG can meet alone.

- Dale Frail for the FUG (June 21, 2014)