4MOST All Hands Meeting 2019

The 4MOST All Hands Meeting 2019 took place in Potsdam on 16 – 20 September 2019. The meeting was hosted by the 4MOST Project Office at the Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) and took place at Potsdam University’s beautiful “Neues Palais” campus.

This fifth annual ‘All Hands Meeting’ (AHM) of the 4MOST consortium brought together consortium members working to define, construct, operate and scientifically exploit the 4MOST Facility. This included the engineers, managers and scientists responsible for the delivery of the 4MOST Facility, the scientists planning the science operations in the infrastructure working groups, and the scientists from the large number of institutes involved in defining the ground-breaking consortium science surveys.

From a project management perspective, the project is in good shape, both financially and in terms of planning. Significant additional funding has been secured, and the hardware budget has remained remarkably stable. Major milestones have also been stable for the past 3-4 years. This is excellent performance for a project of this complexity and size! Of course, we have issues to deal with, but these are well identified and we are working diligently to mitigate the effects and to find solutions. Feedback from ESO regarding the AHM was remarkably positive, adding an outside perspective on how we are doing.

On the facility side of the project, a particular focus of the meeting was to add detail to the planning of the System Integration Phase. This phase, formally known as the Assembly, Integration, and Testing (AIT) phase, will take place at the AIP in the years 2020-2021. During this phase, all subsystems will be delivered to the AIP where system-level testing will take place. This is a complex process where high-level requirements and interfaces will be verified, including software. Steffen Frey, our AIT manager, said after the AHM: “The meeting was very useful for me to communicate the AIT planning and to receive real-time feedback from all our partners regarding important details”.

On the scientific operations side of the project, discussions were centered on preparations for the Delta Call for Proposals Readiness Review, preparations for the Operational Rehearsals, the Consortium Survey Plan, as well as sharpening the requirements for the higher-level data products pipelines.

In addition, Andrea Merloni and Martin Roth presented highlight talks on the recently launched X-ray facility eROSITA and the latest developments in photonics for astronomical instruments, respectively.

The meeting’s programme can be found here.

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