Moving closer towards release

The W51 massive star forming complex lies just half a degree below the Galactic Plane. This quick reduction from an 850µm square degree map of the region shows a chain of cold, dense cores reaching out from the massive core and running parallel to the Plane. The contours represent 12CO emission from the region.

Despite the hiatus in activity on this blog over the last few weeks, the SCUBA-2 commissioning team have been very busy. In particular, preparation for an Instrument Performance Review, which took place at NIST in Boulder, CO, took up most of our time at the end of July. This was an important meeting where a panel of submillimetre instrumentation experts came together to review the current performance of SCUBA-2 and came up with a list of recommendations going forward. Importantly, one of the outcomes of the review is that no invasive measures could be identified that would significantly improve the performance of the instrument. This is a positive outcome and indicates that we are very close to releasing the instrument to the JCMT community.

With that in mind, and taking the recommendations of the review on board, a plan is being drawn up which takes us as quickly as possible to a release of the instrument for shared-risks observing – which we hope will be in the next couple of months. It will be for the JCMT Board to decide what form that shared-risk observing will be. We hope to hear an official announcement to the community soon.


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