IVS TOW 2009 Logo   

Fifth IVS Technical Operations Workshop

April 27–30, 2009
Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, USA

Objectives    Location    Registration    Class Sign-up    Class Assignments

   Program    Program Committee    Invitations    Visa    Transportation

   Lodging    Local Information    Local Organizing Committee

   Evaluation    Notebook    Pictures


The intended audience for this meeting is the technical staff of the stations. The meeting will be oriented towards hands-on training and problem resolution in VLBI operations. We hope that all VLBI stations will be able to send technical representatives. This meeting represents a rare opportunity for both training and communication with personnel from other stations, the coordinating center, and the correlators.

Attendance at the TOW will be limited to two people from each station. If you can send two people, we recommend that the best pair of people would be an experienced station operator plus a new operator. If your station would like to send more than two people, please have the additional people also fill out the registration form. Then, send a message to the with the priority order of the people from your station. Attendance for only two people per station is guaranteed. The limit of two will be raised only if it does not cause the meeting and classes to become too large.


The workshop will be held at Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts, USA.


Everyone who plans to attend must register. Registration consists of two parts: (1) pre-registration and (2) final class sign-up. Please use the pre-registration form to pre-register. Pre-registration deadline was March 20, 2009. Pre-registration is closed. Contact the if you missed the deadline and want to attend the meeting. The class sign-up will open once the class interest feedback is evaluated.

The registration fee is $300. This will cover morning refreshments, coffee breaks, lunches, and two dinners during the meeting, and course materials. The fee will be collected at the registration desk at the meeting. Only cash or checks (made out to "MIT Haystack Observatory") in USD can be accepted.

Class Sign-up

Everyone who pre-registered must sign up for classes to complete the registration process. To do so please fill out the class sign-up form with the aid of the list of class descriptions. The deadline for signing up for classes was April 17, 2009. Class sign-up is closed. If you did not sign up for classes and still need to do so, please contact the .

Class Assignments

The draft class assignments are ready. Class assignments have been made based on the class selection forms. On the Class Assignments page you can find a link to your individual form as well as schedules of all classes. Note that changes are still possible due to the draft status. If you want to add or change any classes, please contact the .


We plan on having an icebreaker reception at the meeting hotel (Westford Regency) on Sunday April 26, 2009 starting at about 6 pm.

A class feedback form had been prepared in order to determine the class interests for this year's TOW. The deadline for submitting class interest feedback was March 6, 2009. The results of the feedback will help determine the final offer of classes in the class sign-up. Submission of feedback is no longer possible.

Program Committee

The Program Committee is responsible for deciding on the topics to be covered at the workshop and setting up the sessions. Please send comments or requests for classes to the TOW Program Committee.

Members of the program committee are:


Although IVS cannot provide financial support for attendance at the workshop, we will send a letter of invitation to attend the meeting. If this would be of assistance for your travel plans, please contact the to request a letter.


Depending on your country of origin you may need a Visa to enter the United States or you may be eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Please check the list of VWP countries to find out if you are eligible for a Visa Waiver. If you need a Visa, please contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country in order to inquire about the necessary paperwork. If you can take advantage of the Visa Waiver Program, please note that there was a recent change in immigration procedures. VWP participants now have to obtain an approved travel authorization prior to their travel to the United States. For this purpose, use the so-called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Please make sure that you obtain your authorization on time.


Haystack Observatory is about equally distant from two airports: Boston, MA and Manchester, NH. Boston airport is a major international hub, whereas Manchester airport is a regional airport. Local traffic from Manchester to Westford is usually lighter than from Boston.

There are several choices for ground transportation to the Westford Regency Inn from Boston and Manchester airports. Use the phone numbers below to reserve a seat.

Service Contact Information Price Comments
Flight Line 1-800-245-2525
From Boston airport:
$77 for 1–3 people
$87 for 4 people
$97 for 5 people
$107 for 6 people

From Manchester airport:
$74 for 1–3 people
$84 for 4 people
$94 for 5 people
$104 for 6 people
This is for a shared ride. Both Boston and Manchester airports are served by Flight Line.
C & L Air Limo 1-800-247-7080
From Boston airport:
$69 for 1 person
$75 for 2 people
$81 for 3 people
$89 for 4 people

From Manchester airport:
$77 for 1 person
$77 for 2 people
$88 for 3 people
$94 for 4 people
This is for a shared ride. Both Boston and Manchester airports are served by C & L Air Limo, Inc.

If you prefer to rent a car at either Manchester or Boston Airport, you may follow the hotel's driving directions and/or map in order to get from the airport to the hotel.


A block of rooms has been set aside at the Westford Regency Inn in Westford, MA. The hotel has a full-service restaurant and bar. Room rates are $110 + 9.7% state tax for single/double occupancy. The government rate is higher.

Participants are requested to make their own reservations if possible. Please contact the hotel using the information given below. Rooms will be released from the block after April 4, 2009; please make your reservations before then. A credit card is required to guarantee your room.

Westford Regency Inn and Conference Center
219 Littleton Road Phone: +1-978-692-8200
Westford, MA 01886 Fax: +1-978-692-7403
United States
Toll free reservations Number: +1-800-543-7801
  Booking code: MIT Haystack Observatory

If you need assistance with your reservations, please contact .

Local Information

To reach Haystack Observatory, please follow the map and text based driving directions.

Weather in late April / early May in the northeastern US is usually wonderful. Participants can check the local weather conditions before leaving home.

Other links to local information:

Local Organizing Committee

Members of the local organizing committee are:

Please feel free to contact any of the committee members with any questions.


Evaluation forms were filled out by meeting attendees. A summary of the comments and ratings is available at the link below. After the meeting, the teachers met to share their experiences and evaluate the meeting and their teaching. Notes from this meeting are are available at the link below.


Most of the hard copy material provided in the notebook distributed at the meeting is now available in PDF files. The notebook page has links to the files.


Several people took pictures during the meeting and made them freely available. Please use the following links to pages with thumbnails. Some thumbnail pages allow downloading of the full size pictures by clicking on them.

You can also browse and download picture files on the ftp server.

You can also download a QuickTime movie file (huge file):