TAC Report for Semester 2012B
The ProcessThe Observatory has completed the Semester 2012B proposal evaluation and time allocation process for the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)/High Sensitivity Array (HSA), and the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). A total of 322 proposals were received on the 1 February 2012 submission deadline. In aggregate the proposals covered the broad spectrum of modern research in astronomy and astrophysics. A total of 1040 unique authors submitted proposals to the Observatory, with 758, 323 and 131 proposers competing for time on the VLA, GBT and VLBA/HSA, respectively. Proposals were evaluated on the basis of scientific merit by eight Science Review Panels (SRPs). The proposals were also reviewed for technical feasibility by NRAO staff. Reviews were completed in April and then cross-reconciled by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) during its meeting in Charlottesville, VA, on 25-27 April 2012. The TAC consists of the chairs of the SRPs and was charged with recommending a science program for Semester 2012B to the NRAO Director. The recommended program was reviewed and approved on 18 May 2012. A disposition letter was sent to the principal investigator and co-investigators of each proposal on 31 May 2012. A TAC report (this document) containing information for proposers and observers, including statistics and telescope pressure plots, was released the same day. The approved science program will be posted soon. The Observatory welcomes community feedback on its process for proposal evaluation and time allocation. Please provide such feedback via the Proposal Review department of the Observatory's Helpdesk.
Science ScoresLinear-rank science scores are assigned by the SRPs. The Observatory uses a scale from 0 to 10 to score proposals. A science score of 0 corresponds to an outstanding proposal. A science score of 10 corrresponds to a very poor proposal. The quartile boundaries for the science scores are 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5.
Scheduling PrioritiesThe 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
N*= the observations will not be scheduled because they were explicitly rejected by the TAC
N = the observations will not be scheduled because they could not fit in the time available
H = not assigned because the proposal is being held for for consideration at a future TAC meeting The tables below provide statistics by proposal counts and by proposal hours. Entries are binned according to time approved at scheduling priorities A or B, time approved at scheduling priority C only, and no time approved.
For the VLA, the pressure on dynamic time as a function of LST is shown in the pressure plots below for the A and BnA configurations planned for Semester 2012B. The plots encode pressure by scheduling priority, as well as by frequencies above 10 GHz (light shading) and below 10 GHz (dark shading). The time available per LST hour is shown by the black line. Engineering and commissioning activities cause the thick black line to be less than the total number of LST days in the configuration. Such activities dominately occur during daytime, causing the black line to dip for daytime LSTs.
Observation PreparationFor the GBT and VLBA, Semester 2012B spans 2012 August 1 through 2013 January 31. Those with allocations should begin observation preparation soon. Procecedures are described at GBT and VLBA. For the VLA, Semester 2012B involves the A and BnA configurations. Observers are reminded of the shared-risk nature of early science. Observing restrictions are evolving with time, so observers should wait until a few weeks before the planned start of a configuration to begin observation preparation. Consult the relevant pressure plot above when preparing scheduling blocks as described at VLA. Scheduling blocks that are not observed during a configuration will be expired at the planned end of the configuration. Unless stated otherwise, any time allocated is only for the identified proposal, 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
Modified on Tuesday, 29-May-2012 13:55:52 MDT