Director's Discretionary Time

by Stephan W. Witz last modified Jul 09, 2013 by Joan Wrobel

The NRAO has established two categories of proposals for Director's Discretionary Time (DDT). DDT is limited to a maximum of about 5% of the total observing time on the VLA. All DDT proposals must be submitted using the standard NRAO procedures, using the on-line proposal tool. Proposals submitted by any other means (e.g., phone calls, e-mails, faxes, word-of-mouth) will be not be considered.

1. DDT Target of Opportunity. Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals are for unexpected or unpredicted phenomena such as extreme X-ray or radio flares. ToO proposals are evaluated rapidly, with scheduling done as quickly as possible and as warranted by the nature of the transient phenomenon. ToO proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit by Observatory scientific staff. Those staff also asses the technical feasibility of the ToO proposals. The proprietary period for data obtained by ToO proposals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis but will be no more than six months.

2. DDT Exploratory Time. Exploratory Time proposals are normally for requests of small amounts of time, typically a few hours or less, in response to a recent discovery, possibly to facilitate future submission of a larger proposal. In general, there will not be a need for immediate scheduling with these proposals, but they may need to be observed in the current VLA configuration rather than waiting 16 months. The possibility that a proposer forgets about or misses an NRAO proposal deadline, or just discovered that he/she was granted time for a particular source on some other telescope, will not constitute sufficient justification for granting observing time by this process. Thus, Exploratory Time proposals must include a clear description of why the proposal could not have been submitted for normal review at a previous NRAO proposal deadline, and why it should not wait for the next proposal deadline. Exploratory Time proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit by Observatory scientific staff. Those staff also asses the technical feasibility of the Exploratory Time proposals. Notification of the disposition of an Exploratory Time proposal normally will be within three weeks of receipt of the proposal; some of these proposals may be put in a queue such that they may or may not be observed. The proprietary period for data obtained by Exploratory Time proposals normally will be six months.