IVS TOW 2015 Logo        

Eighth IVS Technical Operations Workshop

May 4–7, 2015
Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, USA

Objectives    Location    Registration    Class Sign-up    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. Pre-registration deadline was March 15, 2015. Pre-registration is closed. Contact if you missed the deadline and want to attend the meeting.

The registration fee is $325 (note reduced amount, now confirmed). 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. The preferred payment option is by credit card (Visa or Mastercard); check and cash payment can be accommodated on request and prior notice.

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 12, 2015. Class sign-up is closed. If you did not sign up for classes and still need to do so, please contact .


We will have an icebreaker reception in the Radisson hotel on Sunday May 3, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. There will be hors d'oeuvres as well as a dessert station with coffee and tea.

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:
$67 for 1–3 people
$85 for 4 people
$100 for 5 people

From Manchester airport:
$97.75 for 1–3 people
$132.25 for 4–5 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:
$76 for 1 person
$79 for 2 people
$89 for 3+ 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 and peruse the hotel's PDF promotion flyer. Rooms will be released from the block after April 11, 2015; 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 $104.00 + 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:    MITHAY

If you need assistance with your reservations, please contact and/or .

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 VLBI Session Pre-checks and IVS Operations 405 KB
Dan Smythe Mark 5 Advanced Topics 36 KB
Chet Ruszczyk Operational Use of Mark 6 for Early Adopters 385 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 536 KB
Michael Lindqvist Antenna Gain Calibration 104 KB
Brian Corey RFI Sources, Identification, Mitigation 2,692 KB
Brian Corey Phase Cal Basics and RF System Testing 1,806 KB
Rich Strand and Mike Poirier Operational Recovery from System Failures 114 KB
Chet Ruszczyk Mark 5 and RDBE OS Software Development 137 KB
Brian Corey Advanced Pre-checks and Operations 2,637 KB
Alessandra Bertarini, David Hall and Daniel Veillette Understanding Correlator Feedback 2,868 KB
Alan Whitney Differences between Mark 5 and Mark 6 984 KB
Uwe Bach Pointing and Amplitude Calibration in Theory and Practice 490 KB
Katie Pazamickas, Tom Clark and Rick Hambly High-accuracy Time and Frequency in VLBI 6,329 KB
Ed Himwich Topics in FS Station Software Coding 1,399 KB
Uwe Bach DBBC Setup and Operations 2,196 KB
Chet Ruszczyk RDBE Setup and Operations 1,318 KB
Chet Ruszczyk e-VLBI Overview 113 KB
Jason SooHoo e-transfer Operations 9,935 KB
Alexander Neidhardt FS Remote Operations 8,624 KB
Harro Verkouter jive5ab and FlexBuff: VLBI data recording and transport utilities for the 21st century 9,813 KB
Alexander Neidhardt MCI Monitoring and Control 6,738 KB
Alan Whitney VLBI Basics 7,716 KB
Mamoru Sekido VGOS-related Developments in Japan 3,772 KB
Ed Himwich Impact of Operations on Data Analysis 1,399 KB
David Gordon Science Overview 808 KB
Ed Himwich Field System Near Term Future Plans 3,623 KB
Arthur Niell Broadband and the Evolution of the VGOS Network 1,763 KB
Gino Tuccari DBBC Developments 3,255 KB
Colin Lonsdale VLBI: The Next 20 Years 15,758 KB

Much of the Mark 5 and Mark 6 documentation is updated frequently on the Haystack Web site. For the latest Mark 5 and Mark 6 documents, please visit the Web site at and


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.