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The last 12 years have seen the evolution of a new funding regime under the supervision of the Pensions Regulator. Over this period, there has been significant turbulence in financial markets, including record low interest rates. This paper takes a critical look at the development of funding approaches and methodologies over this period. It analyses the Pensions Regulator guidance and how scheme specific actuarial methods have emerged since the move away from the Minimum Funding Requirement in 2001 and the introduction of the Scheme Specific Funding Requirements in 2005. It asks whether these new methodologies have been successful from the perspective of members, trustees, employers and shareholders. At a time when actuarial valuation methodologies have faced considerable criticism, this paper aims to propose a pension funding methodology which is fit for purpose and also reflects the latest guidance from the Pensions Regulator on integrated risk management.
New simultaneous X-ray and radio observations of the archetypal mode-switching pulsar PSR B0943+10 have been carried out with XMM-Newton and the LOFAR, LWA and Arecibo radio telescopes in November 2014. They allowed us to better constrain the X-ray spectral and variability properties of this pulsar and to detect, for the first time, the X-ray pulsations also during the X-ray-fainter mode. The combined timing and spectral analysis indicates that unpulsed non-thermal emission, likely of magnetospheric origin, and pulsed thermal emission from a small polar cap are present during both radio modes and vary in a correlated way.
We are investigating complete samples of southern hemisphere flat spectrum extra-galactic radio sources drawn from the Parkes 2.7 GHz Survey (see Bolton et al. 1979 and references therein). These samples are being used for a variety of investigations, including a determination of the space distribution and luminosity function of radio QSOs, their radio size distribution, as well as the structures of the individual sources. Accurate positions are being determined, as well, in order to establish an extra-galactic position reference frame in the southern hemisphere.
The surface and bottom topography of the central Greenland ice sheet was determined from airborne ice-radar soundings over a 180 km by 180 km grid centered on the 1974 “Summit” site (lat. 72°18′N., long. 37°55′W.), using the Technical University of Denmark 60 MHz ice radar. Over 6100 km of high-quality radar data were obtained, covering over 99'% of the grid, along lines spaced 12.5 km apart in both north-south and east-west directions. Aircraft location was done with an inertial navigation system (INS) and a pressure altimeter, with control provided by periodically flying over a known point at the center of the grid. The ice radar was used to determine ice thickness; the surface topography was determined independently using height-above-terrain measurements from the aircraft’s radar altimeter. The calculated surface topography is accurate to about ±6 m, with this error arising mostly from radar-altimeter errors. The ice thickness and bottom topography are accurate to about ±50 m, with this error dominated by the horizontal navigation uncertainties due to INS drift; this error increases to about ±125 m in areas of rough bottom relief (about 12% of the grid).
The highest point on Greenland is at lat. 72°34′ N., long. 37°38′W., at an altitude of 3233 ± 6 m a.s.l. The ice surface at this point divides into three sectors, one facing north, one east-south-east, and one west-south-west, with each having a roughly uniform slope. The ice divide between the last two sectors is a well-defined ridge running almost due south. The ice is about 3025 m thick at the summit. Excluding the mountainous north-east corner of the grid, where the ice locally reaches a thickness of about 3470 m and the bed dips to about 370 m below sea-level, the maximum ice thickness, approximately 3375 m, occurs about 97 km south-south-west of the summit. The average bed altitude over the entire grid is 180 m and the average ice thickness is 2975 ± 235 m. The ice in most of the south-west quadrant of the grid is over 3200 m thick, and overlies a relatively smooth, flat basin with altitudes mostly below sea-level. There is no predominant direction to the basal topography over most of the grid; it appears to be undulating, rolling terrain with no obvious ridge/valley structure. The summit of the ice sheet is above the eastern end of a relatively large, smooth, flat plateau, about 10–15 km wide and extending about 50 km to the west. If the basal topography were the sole criterion, then a site somewhere on this plateau or in the south-west basin would be suitable for the drilling of a new deep ice core.
A new short-pulse digital profiling radar system that operates at lower frequencies than most ice radars used in polar regions to date has been designed and built by the U.S. Geological Survey. The transmitter is an avalanche transistor pulser which drives a resistively loaded dipole transmitting antenna. A similar, but separate antenna is connected to the receiver. The receiver has adjustable sensitivity time control (STC) of as much as 60 dB to compensate for attenuation and geometric spreading factors. A fiber-optic cable is used to transmit both control signals and data. The data-acquisition and display system incorporates very high-speed digitizing and signal averaging, real-time profile display, and data storage on standard computer nine-track magnetic tape.
The system was successfully used on Ice Stream B in West Antarctica at centre frequencies of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12.5 MHz. Bottom-return signal-to-noise ratios of more than 40 dB were obtained at 2 MHz through 800 m of ice. Convoluted internal surfaces not related to present bottom topography were resolved within the ice streams and anomalous strong reflections or “bright spots” were identified near the base of the ice. At present, there is no satisfactory glaciological explanation for either of these observations.
Low-frequency surface-based radar-profiling experiments on Ice Streams Β and C, West Antarctica, have yielded high-resolution images which depict folding of the internal layers that can aid in the interpretation of ice-stream dynamics. Unlike folding seen in most earlier radar studies of ice sheets, the present structures have no relationship to bedrock topography and show tilting of their axial fold planes in the flow direction. Rather than being standing waves created by topography or local variations in basal shear stress, the data show that these folds originate upstream of the region of streaming flow and are advected into the ice streams. The mechanism for producing folds is hypothesized to be changes in the basal boundary conditions as the ice makes the transition from inland ice to ice-stream flow. Migration of this transition zone headward can then cause folds in the internal layering to be propagated down the ice streams.
We conducted two studies to test the validity, reliability, feasibility and acceptability of using video chat technology to quantify dietary and pill-taking (i.e. supplement and medication) adherence. In study 1, we investigated whether video chat technology can accurately quantify adherence to dietary and pill-taking interventions. Mock study participants ate food items and swallowed pills, while performing randomised scripted ‘cheating’ behaviours to mimic non-adherence. Monitoring was conducted in a cross-over design, with two monitors watching in-person and two watching remotely by Skype on a smartphone. For study 2, a twenty-two-item online survey was sent to a listserv with more than 20 000 unique email addresses of past and present study participants to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the technology. For the dietary adherence tests, monitors detected 86 % of non-adherent events (sensitivity) in-person v. 78 % of events via video chat monitoring (P=0·12), with comparable inter-rater agreement (0·88 v. 0·85; P=0·62). However, for pill-taking, non-adherence trended towards being more easily detected in-person than by video chat (77 v. 60 %; P=0·08), with non-significantly higher inter-rater agreement (0·85 v. 0·69; P=0·21). Survey results from study 2 (n 1076 respondents; ≥5 % response rate) indicated that 86·4 % of study participants had video chatting hardware, 73·3 % were comfortable using the technology and 79·8 % were willing to use it for clinical research. Given the capability of video chat technology to reduce participant burden and outperform other adherence monitoring methods such as dietary self-report and pill counts, video chatting is a novel and promising platform to quantify dietary and pill-taking adherence.
The anticipated release of EnlistTM cotton, corn, and soybean cultivars likely will increase the use of 2,4-D, raising concerns over potential injury to susceptible cotton. An experiment was conducted at 12 locations over 2013 and 2014 to determine the impact of 2,4-D at rates simulating drift (2 g ae ha−1) and tank contamination (40 g ae ha−1) on cotton during six different growth stages. Growth stages at application included four leaf (4-lf), nine leaf (9-lf), first bloom (FB), FB + 2 wk, FB + 4 wk, and FB + 6 wk. Locations were grouped according to percent yield loss compared to the nontreated check (NTC), with group I having the least yield loss and group III having the most. Epinasty from 2,4-D was more pronounced with applications during vegetative growth stages. Importantly, yield loss did not correlate with visual symptomology, but more closely followed effects on boll number. The contamination rate at 9-lf, FB, or FB + 2 wk had the greatest effect across locations, reducing the number of bolls per plant when compared to the NTC, with no effect when applied at FB + 4 wk or later. A reduction of boll number was not detectable with the drift rate except in group III when applied at the FB stage. Yield was influenced by 2,4-D rate and stage of cotton growth. Over all locations, loss in yield of greater than 20% occurred at 5 of 12 locations when the drift rate was applied between 4-lf and FB + 2 wk (highest impact at FB). For the contamination rate, yield loss was observed at all 12 locations; averaged over these locations yield loss ranged from 7 to 66% across all growth stages. Results suggest the greatest yield impact from 2,4-D occurs between 9-lf and FB + 2 wk, and the level of impact is influenced by 2,4-D rate, crop growth stage, and environmental conditions.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
A sub-committee, consisting of Miss M. A. Blagg and Dr K. Müller, has been at work during the past twelve months on the preparation of a list of names and designations for the lunar formations. This work is practically complete but as it was received by the chairman as late as August 22 it has not been possible for him to do more than glance over it. This brief report by him is therefore merely a summary of their work and of the material which is ready for action by the Commission.
During the past three years observational and theoretical work has been uncommonly extensive and fruitful in two of the fields within the interests of Commission 28—namely, the distribution of external galaxies and the analysis of diffuse nebulosity, the latter including interstellar absorbing material. Important work is also under way at a number of observatories in the interpretation of planetary nebulae. Studies of clusters, however, have been limited to a few active workers, and progress has not been rapid in the analysis of individual galaxies.
1. Since the field covered by Commission No. 28 extends over the problems of three very different types of objects—external galaxies, galactic nebulae, and star clusters—it has been proposed occasionally that the Commission might well be subdivided, or possibly eventually split into three separate Commissions. As Trumpler points out, these three fields “have often been grouped together...more on a historical basis than on an actual similarity of the researches... which are more and more drifting apart.” But some members of the Commission have noted that a distinct difference also separates globular clusters and galactic clusters; and that planetary nebulae and dark absorbing clouds involve at times widely different types of investigations. The chairman of the Commission has made a canvass of the opinions of the members and finds that a large majority believe that no division or subdivision is advisable at this time. It is suggested that the organization or reorganization of a Commission should be left to the Union as a whole or to the Executive Committee.
The following work embodying researches coming within the scope of this commission has been published since the last meeting of the Union: La Planète Mercure et la Rotation des Satellites, by E. M. Antoniadi; Gauthier-Villars, Paris.
In addition to references to the work of other astronomers the author gives a summary of his own observations with the 0.83 m. refractor at Meudon and his conclusions.
The following Memoirs or papers not specifically referred to in the body of the Report have also been published since the last meeting of the Union: Cometa Halley. Vol. xxv of Resultados del Observatorio Nacional Argentino. This is a monograph on the Comet at its 1910 return. By C. D. Perrine. Les Comètes en 1930,1931 et 1932. By F. Baldet. (L’ Astronomie 46,497 et 48,175.) I Fondamenti Psicologici dell’ Indagine Visuale. By M. Maggini. (Memorie dellaSoc. Astron. Italiana, Vol. VIII, 2.) Théorie Photométrique des Eclipses de Lune. By F. M. Link. (Bulletin Astronomique,
8 fase. 11.) Relative Lunar Heights and Topography by means of the Motion Picture Negative.
During the time elapsed since the last general assembly of the I.A.U., many activities have been pursued by the astronomers engaged in research work in the wide fields of problems concerning nebulae and clusters. In fact a number of important discoveries have been made and earlier work has been extended in a way to consolidate earlier views or revise them. The embarras de richesse in this field and the extremely short time available for the compilation of a report make it impossible to present anything else than a few short notes partly written by heart and only intended to express personal views on the question of how the research work on nebulae and clusters might be carried on.
The following report is mainly restricted to work done since the last meeting of the I.A.U., but in a few cases it has been necessary to mention earlier results.
Two-thirds of the members of the Commission have replied to the request of the chairman for an expression of their opinion. Most of them are in general well satisfied with the existing system of classification and nomenclature. Lindblad reports on successful work upon the determination of absolute magnitudes of faint stars, in many ways. Adams writes: “I might suggest that attention be called in the report to the fact that the ultra-violet spectra, even of stars like β Orionis, show large numbers of lines. As you probably remember, the spectrum of Sirius resembles, at first sight, the solar spectrum. If all observatories had the facilities for getting spectra in the far ultra-violet, this region would probably furnish the best criteria for spectral type.” Merrill suggests: “The nomenclature which, upon the basis of atomic transition, assigns the adjective ‘nebular’ to lines which may not occur in nebulae, and ‘ auroral ‘ to lines which may not occur in the aurora, is surely not an ideal one.
We describe bright microwave events that were first detected with the Parkes 64-m telescope at 8.4 or 22 GHz from six active-chromosphere stars. In some flares spectral data were obtained over a large frequency range from simultaneous measurements with the Parkes reflector (8.4 or 22 GHz), the Tidbinbilla interferometer (8.4 and 2.29 GHz), the Fleurs synthesis telescope (1.42 GHz) and the Molonglo Observatory synthesis telescope (0.843 GHz). Data on circular polarization were obtained from the Parkes observations at 8.4 GHz.
The stars were in a wide variety of evolutionary states, ranging from a single pre-main-sequence star (HD 36705), two RS CVn binaries (HD 127535, HD 128171), an Algol (HD 132742) and two apparently single K giants (HD 32918 and HD 196818). Their high brightness temperatures, positive spectral indices and low polarization are consistent with optically thick gyrosynchrotron emission from mildly relativistic electrons with average energies 0.5 to 3 MeV gyrating in inhomogeneous magnetic fields of 5 to 100 G.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.