Futures > Next Generation Very Large Array > ngVLA Community Studies Program: Call for Proposals

ngVLA Community Studies Program: Call for Proposals

by Davis Murphy last modified Sep 22, 2016 by Eric Murphy

Description of the Program

Inspired by dramatic discoveries from the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the community has initiated discussion of a future large area radio array optimized for imaging of thermal emission to milli-arcsecond scales that will open new discovery space from proto-planetary disks to distant galaxies. This next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) is currently envisioned to include: (a) ~10x the effective collecting area of the VLA and ALMA at comparable bands; (b) frequency coverage spanning 1.2 – 116 GHz; (c) interferometric baselines up to 300 km to achieve milli-arcsecond resolution, with consideration for longer baselines and Very Long Baseline Interferometry; and (d) a dense antenna core on km-scales providing high surface brightness imaging.

As part of the process of building towards a final concept for the ngVLA, NRAO is issuing a call for ngVLA Community studies that will provide a mechanism for members of the community to become major contributors to this effort. These studies will be carried out over the next year and be used to help construct a final design concept to be brought to Astro2020. Information on the current scientific and technical ideas for the array concept can be found on the ngVLA home page. Each study will be given an NRAO contact scientist, who will provide the investigators with information they may need to carry out the study, as well as monitor the progress of the investigation.

A successful ngVLA Community Studies project should:

(i) Demonstrate the major scientific/technical advancement being advocated and put it in context for the broader astronomical community.

(ii) State clearly the impact on design choices.

(iii) Ultimately produce a publication in a peer-refereed journal, or at minimum in the ngVLA memo series.

With the help of the astronomical community over the past year and a half, NRAO has already taken a preliminary look at a number of scientific objectives and technical challenges that play major roles driving the telescope deign. See corresponding scientific and technical documents. Among these, there are a number of potential areas where community input would be most constructive. Here we provide a list of suggested topics, but proposals on other relevant issues will also be considered.

We expect that all accepted Community Studies efforts write up their findings as part of a peer-refereed journal article or ngVLA memo, and present their progress/final results at the ngVLA science meeting to be held in mid-2017. Consequently, we anticipate to be able to fund most formally accepted proposals at a modest level to offset travel expenses to present results at the mid-2017 ngVLA Science Conference, as well as for page charges from publications expected to result from the study. We additionally expect to fund a small number of these Community Studies at a more significant level (~6 at \($10{,}000-$25{,}000\) per award) through the ngVLA Community Studies Grants (CSGs) program. Those who expect to request additional funding, please see the Funding Terms and Conditions for the CSGs. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of experts selected from the Community and from NRAO.

Timeline For Proposal Process:
August 8, 2016 Call for Proposals
August 18, 2016 -- 1:00PM EDT First Pre-Proposal Telecon
September 7, 2016 -- 1:00PM EDT Second Pre-Proposal Telecon
September 30, 2016 Proposal Submission Deadline
Mid-October 2016 Announce/Fund Accepted Proposals
~June 2017 Studies to Report Findings at ngVLA Science Meeting
August 2017 Submission of Final Reports (Publication/ngVLA Memo)


Submission Process

Proposals, consisting of a single PDF, are due via the proposal submission page no later than September 30, 2016. To answer any questions from interested parties, we plan to hold pre-proposal telecons on August 18 and September 7, 2016.   Information for dialing in will be provided on this webpage closer to the date of each telecon.  We expect to approve programs no later than sometime in mid-October 2016. As stated above, all proposals should detail how their Community Studies program will:

(i) Demonstrate the major scientific/technical advancement being advocated in your study and clearly put its impact in context for the broader astronomical community.

(ii) Describe (as quantitatively as possible) how their findings impact the design choices of the array.

(iii) A brief workplan identifying who will be carrying out most of the study (e.g., students/post-docs).

(iv) A list of expected deliverables to NRAO by the end of the program in Summer 2017, to include a written report that will be submitted to either peer-refereed journal or the ngVLA memo series.

Basic Studies:

For those not requesting additional funding, we ask that you submit a two-page description of the work that addresses the above mentioned topics. These descriptions will allow the project office to keep track of the multiple threads relating to ngVLA development across the community and coordinate with internal efforts.

Studies Requesting Additional Funding:

For those requesting financial support to carry out their Community Study, we ask that you submit a 5-page proposal: The first four pages should provide an in-depth explanation of your planned study, including a detailed description of the proposed work and corresponding deliverables as highlighted above. The fifth page should include your proposed budget and corresponding budget narrative. For guidance on budget preparation, see the Funding Terms and Conditions for the CSGs.