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VLA/VLBA Observing for University Classes or Summer Programs

by Gustaaf Van Moorsel last modified Sep 22, 2016 by Emmanuel Momjian

Instructors of university classes in observational astronomy or advisers of summer student programs may request small amounts of observing time on the VLA or VLBA. A typical allotment per class or program would not exceed two VLA hours and/or four VLBA hours.

To apply for this time, the instructor or adviser should send a short request of one or two paragraphs to . This request should include a description of the class or program, the range of dates when the class or program will meet, the most desirable date for the observing time, plus statements that at least ten classroom hours will be devoted to the observing project and that sufficient computing resources will be available to the students.

Most requests will come from experienced VLA/VLBA observers known at the NRAO. However, sometimes requests come from instructors or advisers with no prior VLA/VLBA observing experience; in such cases, we recommend that the instructor or adviser first gain some experience by, for example, attending a synthesis imaging summer school and/or collaborating with an experienced colleague.

The time allotted to student observing will be coordinated with the time allotted to normal observing, whether under regular proposals or under rapid-response-science proposals. Student time will therefore be scheduled at LSTs where normal observing has the least demand on the instrument. About 2-6 weeks in advance, the instructor or adviser will be emailed about which particular time slot has been allocated. Before the actual observing, the instructor or adviser should reply stating what will be observed in the allotted time. Data acquired during student time will have no proprietary period.

We request a short report on the outcome of the observing project, either written jointly by the students or the best of the project reports tendered by the students as part of their classwork. This report, preferably in postscript or PDF format, should be sent to schedsoc@nrao.edu.