WSRT call for proposals

Call for proposals to use the WSRT


(September 2013 deadline)

This is the last call for proposals utilizing the MFFE frontends. Observing proposals are solicited for a succession of queues, with gradually diminishing certainty and availability of MFFEs, as explained below. The sequence will start on 1 December 2013 and may take up all of 2014, as explained below. This replaces the traditional semester allocation system during the transition phase.
Astronomers from all countries can apply for observing time on the WSRT; all proposals will be judged on their scientific merit and technical feasibility only. The titles and authors of accepted proposals since 2004 are listed online.

The deadline to submit WSRT proposals is:

Friday September 27 at 12:00 UT (14:00 CEST)

3 Telescopes (RT2, 4 and 5) are currently being converted to Apertif, the new L-band focal plane array system. 11 Telescopes will remain equipped with the MFEE receivers during at least the first 4 months i.e. from 1 December 2013 until 1 April 2014. Afterwards, depending on the exact progress with Apertif, there may be some additional time with 11 telescopes. Then, at some point in 2014, the number of MFFE telescopes is expected to dwindle.
The present call will accommodate proposals for all these three different stages, that take the place of the traditional semester allocation scheme. All proposals will be ranked and assigned either guaranteed or backup time, or be rejected. Proposals with guaranteed time will run during the first 4 months, when 11 telescopes still have an MFFE. All proposals should explicitly indicate whether they require 11 telescopes. Proposals that cannot receive guaranteed time in this period may receive backup time. Proposals with backup time will be informed of their place in the queue but have no guarantee of being observed. Any remaining time after 1 April 2014 with 11 telescopes will be assigned to proposals from a secondary queue. Once the number of MFFE telescopes drops below 11, proposals from a tertiary queue will run. The amount of time in a proposal for that period may be parameterized in terms of sensitivity, i.e. the combination of number of telescopes and total integration time, as it is envisaged that this period will be mostly useful for non-imaging projects, such as flux density monitoring, point-source spectral (absorption) line or polarization studies, etc. Proposers for imaging observations should indicate the minimum acceptable number of telescopes. There could potentially be a very substantial amount of such tertiary time available, but again, proposers will only be informed of their rank order in the queue, without a guarantee ahead of time on actual total observing time spent.
Classical long term projects, spanning multiple, consecutive semesters, will not be considered any more in view of the transition to Apertif.
Once the transition to Apertif is completed, WSRT will have a superb wideband 21/18-cm surveying capability, but with a somewhat reduced pointed sensitivity. Observing at the traditional MFFE-frequencies will be restricted to single 25-m telescope applications.

Descriptions of the Urgent and Service proposal categories can be found via the "Policy for WSRT Observing" of the ASTRON website; these can be submitted at any time.

General information on the capabilities of the WSRT, with its 14x25m dishes, suite of sensitive receivers spanning 250 MHz to 8.7 GHz, powerful and flexible correlator, and pulsar and VLBI backends, can be obtained online.

Proposers should consider designing projects and samples to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the generally unevenly distributed oversubscription as a function of Right Ascension (i.e., LST); some recent histograms are shown online. Proposals for projects that can be executed in multiple 24 hour blocks are also expressly invited, because of the logistical ease in carrying them out.

Since Semester 10B, astronomers can query the WSRT archive online for WSRT data that have been taken since 2000. Data that are in the public domain, can then be requested by sending an email to wsrt-support [at] astron [dot] nl, identifying the project name and the sources they require.

Proposers should take note of EU encouragement to form teams with a European dimension, as it provides valuable financial support. When both the PI and at least 50% of the proposers have an affiliation outside The Netherlands, yet in an EU or affiliated country, their approved WSRT proposals are eligible for RadioNet TransNational Access support.

WSRT proposals of any kind must be submitted only via the web-based tool, NorthStar.

R.C. Vermeulen
Director, Radio Observatory at ASTRON

Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2014 ASTRON