IVS TOW 2013 Logo        

Seventh IVS Technical Operations Workshop

May 6–9, 2013
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 15, 2013. 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 $325. 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. Payment can be effected in cash or with credit card (Visa or Mastercard only).


We will have an icebreaker reception in the Radisson hotel on Sunday May 5, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. There will be hors d'oeuvres as well as a dessert station with coffee and tea.

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 8, 2013. 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 19, 2013. 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:
$85 for 1–3 people
$93 for 4 people
$100 for 5 people
$110 for 6 people

From Manchester airport:
$76 for 1–3 people
$86 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:
$73 for 1 person
$79 for 2 people
$85 for 3 people
$93 for 4 people

From Manchester airport:
$81 for 1 person
$81 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.


The meeting hotel is the Radisson Hotel and 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 18, 2013; please make your reservations before then. A credit card is required to guarantee your room.

Radisson Hotel and Suites Chelmsford-Lowell
10 Independence Drive Phone: +1-978-256-0800
Chelmsford, MA 01824 Fax: +1-978-250-5887
United States Map and Directions


Studio Suite $109.00 + tax

Deluxe Room $94.00 + tax

Hotel amenities include:

Indoor Heated Pool & Fitness Center,

Independence Bar and Grill,

Local shuttle service and free parking,

Free wireless Internet access.

Booking code:   TOW13

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.


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.


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 473 KB
Dan Smythe Mark 5 Advanced Topics 7 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 372 KB
Michael Lindqvist Antenna Gain Calibration 104 KB
Uwe Bach Generating ANTAB Tsys Files (ANTABFS) 138 KB
Brian Corey and Mamoru Sekido RFI Sources, Identification, Mitigation 3013 KB
Brian Corey Phase Cal Basics and RF System Testing 2167 KB
Rich Strand and Mike Poirier Hardware Maintenance 99 KB
Irv Diegel Hydrogen Maser Monitoring and Maintenance 349 KB
Chet Ruszczyk Mark 5 and RDBE OS Software Development 404 KB
Brian Corey and Ed Himwich Advanced Pre-checks and Operations 6973 KB
Alessandra Bertarini and Mike Titus Practical Correlation 1763 KB
Uwe Bach Pointing and Single Dish Amplitude Calibration Theory 344 KB
Tom Clark and Richard Hambly Next Generation GPS Timing for the Mark 5 Era 5855 KB
Ed Himwich Topics in FS Station Software Coding 245 KB
John Gipson Writing VLBI Observation Schedules 1570 KB
Gino Tuccari DBBC Setup and Operations 4812 KB
Chet Ruszczyk RDBE Setup and Operations 1515 KB
Chet Ruszczyk e-VLBI Overview 96 KB
Jason SooHoo e-transfer Operations 829 KB
Jim Lovell FS Remote Operations 638 KB
Ed Himwich Cable-wrap: what it is and how to deal with it 456 KB
Alan Whitney VLBI Basics 3730 KB
Ed Himwich Impact of Operations on Data Analysis 1153 KB
John Gipson Science Overview 1900 KB
Ed Himwich Field System Near Term Future Plans 3727 KB
Arthur Niell Broadband and the Evolution of the VGOS Network 3119 KB
Alan Whitney Mark 6 System Description 1700 KB
Tom Clark and Richard Hambly Using Low-Cost COTS Software Defined Radios (SDR) for Phase Cal and RFI Monitoring 1209 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.