IVS TOW 2011 Logo   

Sixth IVS Technical Operations Workshop

May 9–12, 2011
Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, USA

Objectives    Location    Registration    Program    Class Sign-up

   Class Assignments    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 24, 2011. 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. 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.


We will have an icebreaker reception in the Hawthorn Suites hotel on Sunday May 8, 2011 starting at about 6:30 pm (projected end is 8:30 pm). For those participants that arrive early and possibly want to walk off their jet lag, we are organizing a hike up Mount Watatic. The hiking group will meet at 10:45 am on Sunday May 8, 2011 in the hotel lobby of the Hawthorn Suites.

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 11, 2011. 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.

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 13, 2011. 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. In the following tables please find a link to your individual form as well as schedules of all classes.

Schedule of classes offered
First Second Third
Teacher Teacher Teacher
Room Room Room
Time slot (default) Time slot (default) Time slot (default)
don't care don't care don't care

Individual class assignments
First Second Third
Teacher Teacher Teacher
Room Room Room
Time slot (default) Time slot (default) Time slot (default)
don't care don't care don't care
Go to Web page with individual
class assignments

Note that changes are still possible due to the draft status. If you want to add or change any classes, please contact .

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 eligibility rules 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 obtain an approved travel authorization prior to your 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 Westford from Boston and Manchester airports. In addition to renting a car, you can take advantage of airport shuttle services. Use the phone numbers below to reserve a seat on an airport shuttle.

Service Contact Information Price Comments
Flight Line 1-800-245-2525
From Boston airport:
$35 for 1 person
$45 for 3 people

From Manchester airport:
$61 for 1–3 people
$71 for 4 people

This can be booked online. Under Dropoff location select "Hotel" and then "Chelmsford-Hawthorn".
This is for a shared ride. Both Boston and Manchester airports are served by Flight Line.

Prices do not reflect gratuity. Credit cards accepted.
C & L Air Limo 1-800-247-7080
From Boston airport:
$73 for 1 person
$79 for 2 people
$85 for 3 people

From Manchester airport:
$81 for 1 person
$81 for 2 people
$88 for 3 people
This is for a shared ride. Both Boston and Manchester airports are served by C & L Air Limo, Inc.

Prices do not reflect gratuity. Credit cards accepted.


A block of rooms has been set aside at the Hawthorn Suites in Chelmsford, MA.

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 24, 2011; please make your reservations before then. A credit card is required to guarantee your room.

Hawthorn Suites
25 Research Place Phone: +1-978-256-5151
North Chelmsford, MA 01863 Fax: +1-978-256-6633
United States Directions


Studio Suite $84.99 + 11.7% tax

1 Bedroom Suite $89.99 + 11.7% tax

Daily Complimentary Hot Breakfast

Tues-Thurs Evening Complimentary social

Note: A complimentary Shuttle can run to Haystack daily if required (please let Heidi know).

Eleanor Connors (Sales Representative) Booking code: MIT Haystack Observatory
  Group code: MITR

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 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.


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.


The notebook material that was distributed at the meeting on the flashdrive plus a few updates has been compiled into the following notebook table. All files were converted to PDF format.

Author(s) Title File Size
Operations Workshops
Rich Strand and Mike Poirier Experiment Pre-Checks and Operations 328 KB
Dan Smythe Mark 5 Advanced Topics 663 KB
Dan Smythe Troubleshooting without a Mark IV Decoder 20 KB
Jay Redmond Cryogenic System and Receiver Maintenance 49 KB
Maintenance Workshops
Don Sousa Mark 5 Disk Module Testing and Shipment 13 KB
Ed Himwich Automated Pointing Models Using the FS 115 KB
Michael Lindqvist Antenna Gain Calibration 104 KB
Bob Campbell Generating ANTAB Tsys Files (ANTABFS) 138 KB
Brian Corey RFI Sources, Identification, Mitigation 1304 KB
Brian Corey and Richard Hambly Spectrum Analyzer Testing of Analog RF Systems 936 KB
Rich Strand and Mike Poirier Hardware Maintenance 36 KB
Irv Diegel Hydrogen Maser Monitoring and Maintenance 87 KB
Chet Ruszczyk Mark 5 OS and Mark 5C Software Development 385 KB
Brian Corey and Ed Himwich General Station Troubleshooting 3227 KB
Kensuke Kokado Introduction to the K5 System 4885 KB
Mike Titus, Alessandra Bertarini, and David Hall Understanding Correlator Feedback 2313 KB
Jonathan Quick Linux System Administration 248 KB
Bob Campbell Pointing and Single Dish Amplitude Calibration Theory 1115 KB
Richard Hambly Timing Systems 9180 KB
Ed Himwich Writing Station Specific FS Code 8585 KB
Ed Himwich Topics in FS Station Software Coding 9 KB
Brian Corey Phase Calibration Basics 1132 KB
Chris Beaudoin Digital Backends and Digital Processing Methods 3666 KB
Gino Tuccari DBBC Overview 4401 KB
Chet Ruszczyk RDBE Overview 1782 KB
Chet Ruszczyk e-VLBI Overview 137 KB
Kensuke Kokado Software Correlation 256 KB
Alexander Neidhardt FS Remote Interface 638 KB
Brian Corey VLBI Electronics 774 KB
Chris Beaudoin VLBI2010 Analog Electronics 2292 KB
Kerry Kingham VLBI Basics 2235 KB
Alan Whitney Mark 5 System Overview 474 KB
Ed Himwich Impact of Operations on Data Analysis 4894 KB
David Gordon Science Overview 2141 KB
Ed Himwich Field System Near Term Future Plans 22 KB
Harald Schuh VLBI2010: Origins, Status and Future 13888 KB
Alan Whitney Mark 6 System Development 186 KB

Much of the Mark 5 documentation is updated frequently on the Haystack Web site. For the latest Mark 5 documents, please visit the Web site at


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):