General and Shared Risk Observing

VLA, VLBA, and GBT observing are classified into two categories: General Observing (GO) and Shared Risk Observing (SRO). The GO category includes the standard capabilities of VLA, VLBA, or GBT whereas the SRO program accommodates those who seek to utilize the facilities beyond their regular capacities. The Call for Proposals provides a detailed outline of what constitutes these categories for each facility.

The Observatory expects that most SRO programs will have no or only minor problems that can be corrected quickly. If an SRO program fails, however, and it becomes clear that detailed testing with additional expertise is needed, then the project must make an experienced member from their team available to help troubleshoot the problem. In some cases, this may require the presence of that experienced member. If adequate support from the project is not given, then the time on the telescope still will be forfeited. The additional effort is to be determined based on discussions with the Observatory staff and management and the project team.

For GBT SRO, the proposing team may be asked to provide a "backup" receiver if the original one is not available. In such cases, the observation may proceed with the backup receiver, as long as the observation is not considered a duplicate observation, as defined in Section 7.3.