Information for Proposers for Semester 2011B
The ProcessThe Observatory has implemented a new proposal evaluation and time allocation process for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). A total of 304 proposals were received at the 2011 February 1 submission deadline for Semester 2011B. Drawing from the community, eight Science Review Panels (SRPs) were constituted, each covering a science category. In aggregate, the SRP categories span the broad spectrum of modern research in astronomy and astrophysics. The proposals underwent science review by the SRPs and technical review by NRAO staff. The results of these reviews were cross-reconciled by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC). The TAC consists of the chairs of the SRPs and is charged with recommending a science program for semester 2011B to the NRAO Director. After approval of the science program, a disposition letter for each proposal was prepared and sent 2011 May 31 to all authors of the proposal. A forthcoming NRAO eNews article will include information about approved proposals.
StatisticsFor the GBT, 83 proposals were received and requested a total of 6208 hours. Sixty-two proposals were approved for full or partial allocations totaling 3478 hours. These approved proposals are competing for 3886 available hours. For the EVLA, 193 proposals were received and requested a total of 5122 hours in the D configuration, 1200 hours in the DnC configuration and 898 hours in Any configuration. Ninety-six proposals were approved for full or partial allocations totaling 1112 hours in the D configuration, 248 hours in the DnC configuration and 177 hours in Any configuration. EVLA oversubscription by LST is described below. For the VLBA, 28 proposals were received and requested a total of 2559 hours. Sixteen proposals were approved for full or partial allocations totaling 1838 hours.
The Science Score Assigned by the SRPThe Observatory uses a scale from 0.1 to 9.9, inclusive, to score proposals. A science score of 0.1 corresponds to an outstanding proposal. A science score of 9.9 corrresponds to a very poor proposal. For the 304 proposals scored by the SRPs, the quartile boundaries were 3.95, 4.73 and 5.92.
The Scheduling Priority Assigned by the TACThe Observatory's telescopes are predominantly dynamically scheduled. Guided by the SRP science score and taking into account the time available for each telescope, the TAC assigns a scheduling priority to each session in each proposal. Possible scheduling priorities are: A = the observations will almost certainly be scheduled B = the observations will be scheduled on a best effort basis C = the observations will be scheduled as filler D = N = the observations will not be scheduled For EVLA proposals requesting a future configuration, the TAC may opt to indicate that a scheduling priority is not available (NA) because the request will be considered at a future TAC meeting. For the EVLA, the pressure on dynamic time as a function of LST is shown in the pressure histograms below for the D configuration (2011 September 30 to December 27) and the DnC configuration (2011 December 30 to 2012 January 17). The histograms encode pressure by scheduling priority, as well as by frequencies above 10 GHz (crosshatched) and below 10 GHz (clear). The time available per LST hour is shown by the thick black line. Engineering and commissioning activities, plus approved fixed-date proposals, cause the thick black line to be less than the total number of LST days in the configuration. Moreover, engineering and commissioning activities dominately occur during daytime, causing the thick black line to dip severely near 15 hours LST.
Observation PreparationFor the GBT and VLBA, the semester spans 2011 July 1 through 2012 January 31. Those with GBT or VLBA allocations should begin observation preparation activities as soon as possible. For the EVLA, observing restrictions are evolving with time, so observers should wait until early September to prepare their scheduling blocks for the D or the DnC configurations. Observers are reminded of the shared-risk nature of early science with the EVLA. Unless stated otherwise, any time allocated is only for the proposal given, and no modification in the project should be made without obtaining permission from NRAO scheduling staff. To seek permission, submit a ticket to the Proposal Review department of the NRAO Helpdesk. Page maintained by schedsoc
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