Committee Members Present: Beatrice Magnani, Zach Eilon, Susan Schwartz (chair), Brandon Schmandt, Paul Winberry, Zhigang Peng (stand-in Board Liaison for Donna), Kate Allstadt, Eric Sandvol, Rick Aster (ex-officio)
Members not present: Steve Holbrook, Donna Shillington (Board Liaison – Peng stand-in)
IRIS Staff and Observers: Kent Anderson (IRIS-program manager), Justin Sweet (IRIS- scribe), Bruce Beaudoin (PASSCAL-NMT), Sue Bilek (NMT), Galen Kaip (UTEP), Bob Woodward (IRIS), Bob Detrick (IRIS)
Action Items from Call #1
1. (Anderson) Facilitate a call of existing membership of PNSC to provide an update and discuss rotations
2. (Anderson) Procure P&S source with Wavefield imaging frontier funds
Status: Accomplished –
3. (Anderson) Procure nodal infrastructure enhancement (expanded server and node handling equipment)
Status: Accomplished –
4. (Anderson) Draft a recommendation for structure of MT representation on the PASC and send around to the committee for review
Status: Accomplished – distributed to PASC
5. (Anderson) Update PASC charge and send around to committee for review
Status: Accomplished – distributed to PASC
6. (Frassetto) Report back to PASC with suggested MT names from EMAC
Status: Accomplished – distributed to PASC
7. (Schwartz/Anderson) Prepare a monthly or bi-monthly executive summary of Program issues for the committee to keep them in the loop and prepare for upcoming meetings.
8. (Sandvol/Schwartz) Draft a recommendation to the Board re: update to Grand Challenges document for review/endorsement by the PASC before sending to the BoD
Status: Accomplished – distributed to PASC
Action Items from Call #2
9. (Anderson/Sweet) Revise the PH5WG charge as necessary to replace the ISSC with PASC for reporting.
10. (Anderson/Schwartz) Put forward Beatrice Magnani and Alan Levander as replacement candidates for David Okaya and Ben Evans on the PH5WG and replace Steve Azevedo with Derick Hess.
11. (Anderson) Update the language of the SSFWG charge to eliminate confusion between usage of PASSCAL and Portable in the document.
12. (Anderson/Beaudoin) Draft node data & shipping policy documents and distribute them to the PASC for review
13. (Frassetto/EMAC) Propose a concept data policy for MT instruments
14. (Anderson) Draft a proposal for submission to the upcoming NSF Mid-Scale Infrastructure solicitation and ask the PASC to comment on science aspects.
15. (Sweet) Send out doodle poll to lock in March dates for the Spring PASC meeting
Status: Accomplished – targeting March 6-8, 2019
16. (Sweet) Send out doodle poll to lock in dates for PASC calls in late Nov and Jan/Feb
1. Motion: PASC moves to accept the minutes from the PASC Spring 2018 meeting as distributed. [unanimously approved]
2. Motion: In light of the advance spending of SAGE-I variance on nodes, the committee moves to spend SAGE-II,Y1 wavefield imaging funds on the P&S source that was not approved for funding from SAGE-I funds due to inability to have this item delivered by 1 October (NSF stipulation). [unanimously approved]
3. Motion: - The committee would like to keep the PASSCAL name brand for this governance committee and the portable program and would like this recommendation forwarded to the Board of Directors [unanimously approved]
4. Board Recommendation: Provide Board with plan to incorporate MT representation in the PASC and list of potential MT member recommendations (with input from EMAC).
5. Board Recommendation: Provide Board with amended PASC charge to included updated language for PASSCAL and Seismic Source Facility
6. Board Recommendation: Recommendation for PASC committee rotations to the Board (3 slots required: replacing Allstadt, Holbrook and vacancy created by Leidig departure)
7. Board Recommendation: Endorse modernization of grand challenges document
8. Board Recommendation: Provide the BoD with the updated charge to the Seismic Source Facility Working Group and a list of new membership recommendations.
• Input to BoD on MT representation on Portable SC
• PASC membership rotations
• Guidance for SAGE-II related policy updates (particularly nodes)
• Review of action items from Spring PASC meeting
• Approval of minutes from spring PASC meeting
Welcome and Introductions
PASC Chair Schwartz begins the call with a welcome and short summary of objectives for the Fall 2018 PASC virtual meeting (2 calls). A face-to-face meeting of the PASC is planned for spring 2019.
Action items from last meeting
All action items completed or near completion. Committee feedback on the revised Scope Management Plan will need to happen on a later call (late fall 2018 or winter 2019).
The PASC unanimously approved the minutes from the spring 2018 PASC meeting (Motion #1).
Program Management Update
Experiment Numbers and Usage Trends
Kent Anderson provided an update on the portable program. He reported the numbers of new/existing portable experiments and noted that the facility is seeing an uptick in the numbers of new experiments compared to this time last year, though they are still below levels seen during the EarthScope era. The uptick is a change from the steady decline in total numbers of new experiments seen for the past few years. There were a few questions about usage trends for different instrument pools. Nodes, in particular, are continuing to see very heavy usage and the current pool (63 instruments) are booked out through spring 2020. The node pool has grown since last spring (200 GEOICE nodes) but we are still not meeting demand. 460 more nodes will be available as of 2/1/19.
We continue to conduct post-experiment debriefings (Justin Sweet). The purpose of this is to collect feedback from PIs on the quality of PASSCAL services and capabilities. For the most part, these have continued to provide very positive feedback on our system, processes and personnel. There have been a few issues that PIs have brought up and we are working to incorporate these into our processes.
Kent noted that the portable program successfully spent all remaining SAGE-I funds before the end of the award on September 30th. Funds were spent out per guidance from the PASC. Specifically, 460 additional 3C Zland nodes were procured and those will be adding to the existing pool of 63 Zlands in the portable pool and 200 Zlands in the polar pool. The P&S source was unable to be procured and delivered in advance of the Sept 30th deadline and is instead proposed to be ordered this fall under SAGE-II funds. EPO funds totaling ~$120k were also spent to purchase a ground penetrating radar unit with 3 different antennas, and 3 24-channel geodes. Both of these items are likely to see heavy usage in educational deployments, but are also available for research.
NGEO proposal was decided by the National Science Board in July 2018. They opted to drop the NGEO name in lieu of 2 separate awards named SAGE (to IRIS) and GAGE (to UNAVCO). Both awards are for 5 years (Oct 1, 2018 to Sept 30, 2023) and NSF has indicated they intend to recompete the awards thereafter. Bob Detrick mentioned that an upcoming NSF decadal survey due out in 2020 will likely guide NSF decisions on the scope and nature of any RFPs that NSF will issue for geophysics facilities in the post-SAGE-II era. The SAGE-II award for IRIS totals $93M over 5 years. IRIS core programs (including Portable and Polar) will be funded at about the levels proposed in NGEO. In addition, there are a few new funded activities including PASSCAL MT and Next Generation instrumentation (Enhanced Wavefield Imaging and Rapid Response to Geohazard Events). The Near-Surface Geophysics Facility that was proposed in NGEO was not funded.
SAGE-II Terms & Conditions
By March 1, 2019 IRIS and UNAVCO need to provide a refined management structure to NSF along with input on performance metrics for the facility under SAGE-II. For the PASC, we are directed to hold one face-to-face meeting per year in addition to as many virtual meetings as desired. The PASC will continue to be an IRIS-only committee but will expand to include MT representation as this capability is migrated to the PASSCAL Instrument Center. The Polar Networks Science Committee (PNSC) will continue to be a joint IRIS/UNAVCO committee and the Instrumentation Services Standing Committee (ISSC) is dissolved. Above the PASC may be the Joint Advisory Committee (similar to CoCom under SAGE-I) which will include the PASC chair and Portable Program Manager along with chairs and management representatives from all other IRIS and UNAVCO programs/projects. Above the JAC is the Joint Executive Committee which will contain representation from both IRIS and UNAVCO (primarily Board chairs, Presidents and senior management). While changes to the PASC aren’t likely (aside from adding MT representation), there may well be changes to the structure of the JAC and JEC in consultation with NSF between now and March 2019. Under SAGE-II, Annual Plan and Budgets will be due to NSF on May 1st which bumps the IRIS BoD meeting to April and the spring PASC meeting to late February or March. There will be several programmatic reviews throughout SAGE-II, the first of which will focus on Data Services during year 1 of the award. A comprehensive IRIS-wide external panel review is planned for year 3 of the award.
Portable Budgets Under SAGE-II
Budgets for all portable-related activities include PASSCAL, Polar, MT, Wavefields, Rapid Response, and the Seismic Source Facility. In total these programs account for $36M of the $93M award over 5 years. All budgets were funded as proposed, with the exception of Polar which saw a 10% reduction. Wavefields and Rapid Response budgets were changed in their time-phasing to fit into the annual budget limitations imposed by NSF (Rapid Response procurements deferred until years 3-5). The Y1 Wavefields spend plan includes $340k for upgrades to node handling infrastructure (racks and server). Kent would like to redirect $80k of those funds towards the purchase of a P&S source which was unable to be purchased under SAGE-I, and the PASC approved a motion to proceed with that plan (Motion #2). Rapid Response budget for year 1 contains $23k for engineering and market research as the facility investigates next gen instrumentation with the necessary capabilities (e.g. telemetry, power, size, etc.). Rapid Response procurements are time phased to happen in the latter years of the SAGE-II award.
SAGE-II Governance Discussion
Polar Networks Science Committee (PNSC)
The committee discussed the role of the PNSC under SAGE-II and agreed that with the demise of the ISSC, the PNSC should report to Joint Advisory Committee. The committee wondered if the PNSC would be better served by having 2 co-chairs (1 IRIS and 1 UNAVCO) rather than the current model which had a single chair which alternated between IRIS and UNAVCO. Kent offered to facilitate a call of the current PNSC membership to provide an update on the revised PNSC structure under SAGE-II and to discuss committee rotations (4 members are due to rotate off this year) (Action Item #1).
PASSCAL Standing Committee (PASC)
The committee discussed and agreed that they would like to keep the name of the committee as the PASSCAL Standing Committee rather than changing to the Portable Standing Committee (Recommendation #3). The group also discussed how best to incorporate MT representation on the PASC in light of the addition of MT capabilities at the PIC under SAGE-II. In the end, there was consensus around having 1 of the 9 PASC members be selected from the MT community. In addition, the PASC agreed that the chair of the Electromagnetic Advisory Committee (EMAC) should be an ex-officio member of the PASC. Kent agreed to draft the MT changes into the PASC charge and charter and send those around to the committee for their review (Action Items 4 & 5).
Three members of the PASC are due to rotate off this year (Kate Allstadt, Steve Holbrook, and Mark Leidig). The committee discussed possible candidates to replace them and there was keen interest in finding a USGS representative to replace Kate. In addition, the committee was interested in adding some representation from one of the national labs. In light of the change to the PASC charge and charter to include 1 MT representative, the committee requested that Andy Frassetto confer with the EMAC to recommend a candidate for the last slot (Action Item #6). MT will also be represented by an ex officio member of the EMAC
PASSCAL Instrument Center Update
Bruce Beaudoin provided an update on the state of affairs at the PIC, including several trend plots showing the number of instrument requests and funded instruments. The facility has seen an uptick in the number of new experiments this year (59 currently) as compared to last year. Several staffing changes have occurred since the spring meeting including the hiring of the last remaining polar position, and the retirement of Steve Azevedo and hiring of his replacement Derick Hess. Bruce also mentioned software developments including the new stationXML builder “nexus” which was recently released. Bruce and Derick also recently visited the DMC to coordinate on PH5 development. RefTek GPS clock replacements are nearly complete, with the entire pool (~900 units) now updated to the latest hardware version (16x). Under SAGE-II the PIC gains ~1.5FTEs and is planning to hire a dedicated MT position, while striping frontier activities across existing staff. A data position will also be advertised shortly.
UTEP Seismic Source Facility Update
Galen Kaip provided an update on UTEP SSF activities since the spring 2018 PASC meeting. All SAGE-I funds were expended prior to the Sept 30th deadline. Several projects were supported throughout the US and one in Israel. Upcoming proposals that are currently in the pipeline for California, Mexico, and possibly Australia. Currently the SSF is planning for shot testing in Antarctica this austral summer 18/19 in support of a large upcoming deployment in 20/21. Galen requested input from the SSFWG which is currently working to rotate in some new members.
Discussion of Future PASC Meetings
The PASC discussed when they preferred to hold the annual face-to-face meeting: spring or fall, with a variety of opinions expressed. The Spring 2019 meeting is planned to be face-to-face. A desire was expressed for more regular communication to the PASC from the chair and program manager throughout the year. Kent and Susan agreed to prepare a monthly or bi-monthly summary for the committee to keep them in the loop on happenings between the spring and fall meetings (Action Item #7).
Revisit of Grand Challenges in Seismology Documents
In light of the upcoming NSF earth sciences decadal survey (2020), Kent proposed that the PASC might consider revisiting and updating the science needs last documented in the Grand Challenges document in 2009. The PASC agreed this was important and decided to draft a recommendation to the Board that they consider holding a small workshop to gather input and update the document (Action Item #8).
With all objectives met for this meeting, the meeting adjourned at 1:03pm mountain time.
Committee Members Present: Susan Schwartz (Chair), Kate Allstadt, Beatrice Magnani, Eric Sandvol, Paul Winberry, Zach Eilon, Rick Aster (ex-officio), Mike West (Board liaison stand-in)
Members not present: Steve Holbrook, Brandon Schmandt, Donna Shillington (BoD liaison – West Stand-in)
IRIS Staff and Observers: Kent Anderson (IRIS-program manager), Justin Sweet (IRIS- scribe), Bob Woodward (IRIS IS Director), Tim Ahern (IRIS DS Director), Bob Detrick (IRIS President), Bruce Beaudoin (PASSCAL-NMT), Sue Bilek (NMT), Galen Kaip (UTEP)
Working Group Reports
Andy Frassetto provided an update on recent meetings of the EMAC in August 2018. The current chair is Rob Evans. Recent discussion topics included the procurement of a long-period MT system (Lemi) that has now arrived at the PIC for testing and evaluation. The EMAC agreed there was a need for a working group to explore software requirements for MT data handling and processing for PIs. The EMAC also discussed an announcement of new MT capabilities under SAGE-II and a solicitation for feedback which is due to be sent out shortly. The EMAC is also planning for an MT SIG to happen during the upcoming AGU meeting.
Justin Sweet provided an update on recent happenings from the PH5 working group. With the dissolution of the ISSC, it was agreed that the PH5WG should now report to the PASC (in addition to continuing to report to the DSSC) (Action Item #9). The committee also discussed possible replacements for David Okaya and Ben Evans, as well as updating the membership to replace Steve Azevedo with Derick Hess (Action Item #10).
The charge for this working group has been updated to change the name from Active Source to Seismic Source Facility. This was requested by the Board as the SSF is working to expand the range of sources it provides beyond simply explosives. In addition, the SSFWG is planning to resume the push to change how the SSF is funded from the current co-PI model to one where SSF budgets are included with proposals and are funded directly from NSF. The PASC discussed new membership for the SSFWG (Recommendation #8) and Kent agreed to update the language of the SSFWG charge to eliminate confusion between usage of PASSCAL and Portable (Action Item #11)
Program Policies Discussion
Kent brought forward the need to create or amend PASSCAL policies to ensure the policies and procedural changes associated with the incorporation of new and expanded capabilities of the facility were clearly presented to the community and that the governance had an opportunity to provide guidance and oversight on these policies.
Kent presented the need to create a new policy that addresses the issues associated with the inclusion of nodal systems in the pool to address data handling, joint facility instrument sharing with multi-node owners, shipping concerns and best practices. Susan noted the urgency of the PASC weighing in on node-related policies, particularly in light of the 460 new nodes that will be added to the pool and made available by February 2019. The PASC discussed the benefits and drawbacks of offloading all of the nodes from a single experiment in one location—whether or not all those nodes were owned by IRIS or by a multitude of different PIs. While there was agreement that this process was simpler if done at a single location, there was concern about where funding would come from to support this effort if PASSCAL were asked to do this for all nodes from an experiment (even if some or many of those nodes were not from the PASSCAL pool). Kent mentioned that PASSCAL is currently working to portable-ize the node rack and server to permit in-field node charging and data offload. This could prove very popular and could allow PIs to offload node data more quickly and perhaps extend deployments via in-field charging. While this capability does not yet exist, PASSCAL is in the process of implementing it for the polar (GEOICE) node pool and will likely expand the capability the portable node pool thereafter. In light of the short amount of time left on the call, Kent and Bruce were tasked with drafting a node data policy and a node shipping policy to be distributed to the PASC for feedback (Action Item #12).
The committee discussed possible policy updates to encompass the new MT capability planned for the PIC. It was felt that any policy updates at this point may be premature because the EMAC has not yet weighed in on software and data format decisions for MT. The PASC will revisit this discussion at the spring meeting and the EMAC was asked to propose a concept data policy for MT instruments (Action Item #13).
The PASC also discussed policy-related changes that may be required to changes in the Rapid Response pool and the addition of GPR capabilities to the PIC. Both of these changes are likely to lie further down the road and no immediate action was taken.
The PASC did discuss the LDTD policy which has implication for large n datasets stored at the DMC. The DSSC will be revising the LDTD policy at their meeting later this month. Those updates will be passed on to the PASC at that time.
External Funding Discussion
Kent led a discussion which outlined several funding needs in the portable program (next gen DAS, next gen seismometers, MT, nodes, etc.) as well as possible funding opportunities. First up was the NSF mid-scale infrastructure fund which plans to distribute ~$60M during FY19. The solicitation for this fund is expected to come out soon with a quick turnaround time for proposals. Kent offered to take a first stab at a proposal for this from the facility perspective and then distribute it to the PASC for comments on the science implications (Action Item #14).
Several other possible funding sources were also discussed, including: DoE Appropriations, NMT DoD, UTEP MRI, and USGS nodes.
Zach raised the possibility of expanding the capabilities of PASSCAL to include infrasound. He mentioned that a whitepaper was currently being drafted to highlight the need for this kind of instrumentation in the community. There was broad consensus that this seemed like a good idea and a useful addition to the facility.
The next PASC meeting is planned for spring 2018, and is scheduled to be a face-to-face meeting. While the location of the meeting is not yet decided, Justin was tasked with sending out a doodle poll to lock in dates for the meeting sometime in March (Action Item #15). In addition, the PASC agreed that it would be helpful to hold a call in late November to discuss feedback from the Board, and again in late January or early February to cover topics in advance of the spring meeting. Justin was tasked with doodling for these as well (Action Item #16).