This document is intended to provide information for astronomers to prepare proposals to apply for observing time with the WSRT. If you need more information please contact one of the "Contact People" listed at the end.
The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) is an aperture synthesis interferometer that consists of a linear array of 14 antennas arranged on a 2.7 km East-West line. Ten of the telescopes are on fixed mountings while the remaining four dishes are movable along two railtracks.
The WSRT is an open user facility available for scientists from any country. Observing time is being allocated by a Program Committee (WSRT-PC) on the basis of the scientific merit of the proposals and the operational constraints of the instrumentation at the telescope. The NFRA-PC operates independently of the Observatory, but the director has the final responsibility for allocating the time see Policy for WSRT Observing.
The WSRT has 2 observing semesters per year: Period "A" runs from Dec 01 to May 31 and Period "B" runs from June 01 to Nov 30. The proposal deadlines are 2 months before the start of the semesters (Mar 15 deadline for "B" and Sep 15 deadline for "A"). A web-based proposal tool is available. Large proposals for WSRT time are also possible once a year: please see the "Call for proposals".
Requests for observations of extremely important transient or non-predicted events and other urgent and interim proposals will be accommodated under Director's Discretionary Time (DDT, see the Policy for WSRT Observing.
Please note that a "Service Queue" for short observations is now also available at the WSRT. See the Policy for WSRT Observing for more information.
Proposals for use of the WSRT in European or Global VLBI Network observations are coordinated separately, with three deadlines per year: 1 February, 1 June, 1 October (further information on Network VLBI can be found on the EVN-JIVE WWWeb site). It is also possible to request WSRT participation in VLBI observations outside of Network sessions; these proposals will be assessed in competition with local WSRT proposals, and the standard WSRT application procedures should be followed.