Purpose of Document

by Stephan W. Witz last modified Jul 06, 2012 by Stephan Witz

The Observational Status Summary (OSS) summarizes the instrumental status of the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) as of the D-configuration starting January 25, 2013, and should be used when preparing for proposing  for the August 1, 2012 deadline.  For capabilities prior to that date, please consult the previous version of the OSS.

The OSS is intended as a ready reference for those contemplating use of the VLA for their astronomical research. The information is in summary form - those requiring greater detail should consult the VLA's staff members, listed in Key Personnel, or refer to the manuals and documentation listed in Documentation. Most of the information contained here, and much more, is available through the VLA science web pages, and the companion document for the VLBA.

The VLA is a large and complex modern instrument. Some familiarity with the principles and practices of its operation is necessary for efficient use to be made of it.  Although the NRAO strives to make using the VLA as simple as possible, users must be aware that proper selection of observing mode and calibration technique is often crucial to the success of an observing program. Inexperienced and first-time users are encouraged to enlist the assistance of an experienced colleague or NRAO staff member for advice on, or direct participation in, an observing program. Refer to Help for Visitors to the VLA and SOC for details. The VLA is an extremely flexible instrument, and we are always interested in imaginative and innovative ways of using it.