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VLA Proposal Preparation and Submission 2013B

by Gustaaf Van Moorsel last modified Aug 04, 2015 by Lorant Sjouwerman
VLA Proposal Preparation and Submission - Semester 2013B

INTRODUCTION:

The 2013B Call for Proposals details the general capabilities being offered for the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA).

In addition to these general capabilities, NRAO continues to offer shared risk observing options for those who would like to push the capabilities of the VLA beyond those offered for general use.  These are the "Shared Risk Observing" (SRO) and "Resident Shared Risk Observing" (RSRO) programs.  Details of what is being offered for the shared risk programs as compared to general observing capabilities and what is required to write a proposal for them are available on the web at Shared Risk Observing 2013B.

A list of the steps that should be completed for each proposal category is given below.  In addition, a summary of the links to updated documentation and tools to prepare your proposal is also given below (including detailed help documentation for the VLA Observational Status Summary (OSS); Spectral Line Observing; Mosaic Observing; Low Frequency Observing and High Frequency Observing).

If you have any questions or problems with any link or tool, please submit a ticket through the NRAO Helpdesk.

GENERAL & SHARED-RISK OBSERVING - Steps to Completion:

  1. Read the NRAO Call for proposals and the Shared Risk Observing description for summaries of the capabilities being offered for General and Shared-Risk Observing.
  2. If you are proposing for spectral line observations, run the General Observing Setup Tool (GOST, a java application) to define your correlator set-up and save a snapshot of the tool GUI to disk.  Special cases:
  3. Write a scientific and technical justification for your proposal.  Use the VLA Exposure Calculator to understand what sensitivity you will get for a given frequency, bandwidth, and integration time.  Save your justification as a PDF file.
  4. Log into the NRAO Interactive Services page and click on the "Proposals" tab in the top left to create and submit a new proposal for the VLA.  Once you are in the tool, extensive help is available in the tool by clicking on the "Help" button in the top right of the tool interface (see also the links to the help documentation below).  In the PST:
    • Fill in the relevant fields for each section of your proposal;
      • If you are proposing for continuum observations, select Observing Type = "Continuum" in the General section of your proposal.   Then add a Continuum Resource, selecting the appropriate band you want to observe in.   Default optimum continuum setups for each band are defined in the PST.
      • If you are proposing for spectral line observations, Select Observing Type = "Spectroscopy" in the General section of your proposal.   Then add a Spectroscopic Resource and attach the GOST snapshot you saved to this resource.   The GOST snapshot describes everything needed to specify the lines you want to observe and what correlator resources are needed for the observation.
    • Upload your scientific/technical justification as a PDF file;
    • Note that the PST allows observers to specify multiple resource types (e.g., you can have one proposal that specifies general and/OR RSRO correlator resources).  If any resource is RSRO, it will be a RSRO proposal.
  5. When your proposal is complete, validate and submit it in the PST.

RESIDENT SHARED RISK OBSERVING (RSRO) - Steps to Completion:

  1. Read the NRAO Call for Proposals and the Shared Risk Observing description for summaries of the capabilities being offered for General and Shared-Risk Observing.
  2. If you want more than what is offered for General or Shared-Risk Observing then read the description of capabilities being offered for Resident Shared Risk Observing (Shared Risk Observing 2013B).  If you want a Resident Shared Risk capability and plan on participating in the RSRO program with a science proposal, then proceed to the next step.
  3. Write a scientific and technical justification for your proposal.  Use the VLA Exposure Calculator to understand what sensitivity you will get for a given frequency, bandwidth, and integration time. Describe what you want to do with the correlator and why this is in the RSRO Category. Contact NRAO staff if you have questions about exactly what is feasible.
  4. Write a section in your technical justification that describes your RSRO effort.  Describe who in your team can come to Socorro to help make this capability possible and how their background and expertise can be applied to this development.  Working with NRAO staff, estimate the level of effort that is likely to be needed for this development and specify how long a member of your team can come to NRAO. Mention any support request for accommodation expenses in your RSRO justification.  Save your justification (Scientific, Technical and RSRO) as a PDF file.
  5. Log into the NRAO Interactive Services page and click on the "Proposals" tab in the top left to create and submit a new proposal for the VLA.  Once you are in the tool, extensive help is available in the tool by clicking on the "Help" button in the top right of the tool interface (see also the links to the help documentation below).  In the PST:
    • Fill in the relevant fields for each section of your proposal;
    • Even as a RSRO proposal, you will need to create a 'Resource' in the PST and select the "WIDAR RSRO" Back End.  This will give you a text field in which you can type a description of your set-up.  This is in addition to the justification of that set-up in the main justification PDF file;
    • Upload your scientific/technical/RSRO justification as a PDF file;
    • Note that the PST allows observers to specify multiple resource types (e.g., you can have one proposal that specifies general, shared-risk and RSRO correlator resources).  If any resource is RSRO, it will be a RSRO proposal.
  6. When your proposal is complete, validate and submit it in the PST.

 


A SUMMARY OF LINKS TO DOCUMENTATION AND TOOLS YOU WILL NEED FOR PROPOSAL PREPARATION:

https://science.nrao.edu/enews/6.1 -- The January 3, 2013 NRAO call for proposals.

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/oss-2013b -- The new VLA Observational Status Summary (OSS) providing a reference for those contemplating use of the VLA for their astronomical research.  This document summarizes the instrumental status of the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and should be used for the February 1, 2013 proposal deadline. 

2013B Shared Risk Observing -- This web page describes the Shared Risk & Resident Shared Risk capabilities being offered for the 2013B semester as compared to the general capabilities.

NRAO User Portal is a gateway to the NRAO interactive services that include the Proposal Submission Tool (PST).  Click on the "Proposals" tab in the top left to create and submit a new proposal for NRAO telescopes.  You can also see the status of your previously submitted proposals.

  • The NRAO Proposal Submission Tool Guide is available on-line [html] and in pdf format [pdf].
  • The PST has been used for GBT observing proposals since June 2005, VLA observing proposals since January 2006, and VLBA/HSA observing proposals since June 2008.

The VLA Exposure Calculator is available to help you understand what sensitivity you will get for a given frequency, bandwidth, and integration time.  The results from the Sensitivity Calculator should be used in your proposal technical justification.

GOST -- The General Observing Setup Tool (GOST) must be run for all spectral line General & Shared-Risk Observing proposals (not for Resident Shared Risk proposals).  You start the tool GUI interface, select what band you want, list the lines you will be observing , and then ask for a snapshot of the tool to be saved in a PDF file on disk.  This file is then uploaded into the Proposal Submission Tool to define the correlator resources you are asking for.

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/line -- Spectral Line Observing Guide

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/mosaicking -- Mosaic Observing Guide

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/lofreq -- Low Frequency Observing Guide

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/docs/manuals/obsguide/modes/hifreq -- High Frequency Observing Guide

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla/proposing/vlapst2013b -- This page.  A step-by-step guide for what you need to do to submit a proposal and a summary list of links to documentation and tools you will need.


To report errors or problems encountered in any link or while using any NRAO tool listed here, please submit a ticket through the NRAO Helpdesk.

For historical purposes we provide a list of links to earlier observing modes since WIDAR came online in March, 2010.

Many thanks to all the VLA staff and our RSRO participants who have worked long and hard to commission these capabilities and who have helped to create this extensively updated set of documentation.