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Plateau de Bure Interferometer

Science Operations Group

In order to further enhance the productivity of the Plateau de Bure array, it has been decided to create a science operations group (SOG) to ensure an optimum operation and evolution of the Plateau de Bure interferometer.

As of January 1st, four astronomers have been appointed to the science operations group: Arancha Castro-Carrizo, Raphael Moreno, Jan Martin Winters, and Roberto Neri who will coordinate the group activities.

The SOG is staffed with astronomers that will regularly act as Astronomers on Duty (AOD), provide technical support and expertise on the Plateau de Bure array to investigators and visiting astronomers, and interact with the scientific software development group for developments related to the long-term future of the interferometer.

In case of questions related to science, calibration, pipeline-processing and archiving of Plateau de Bure data, interested users may contact the SOG at

Weather conditions and observations

After excellent observing conditions in December, the weather reports for the Plateau de Bure could not have been worse in January: high winds and large amounts of snow have cut down the observing efficiency to about 10% in the last four weeks. As of January 28th, we have observed 15 out of 21 A-rated and 39 B-rated programs, and only 1 has been classified as successfully completed.

As far as A-rated projects are concerned, we look forward to bring these to completion in the current winter semester, but a drastic improvement in the weather conditions is now necessary if we wish to get all A-rated projects through the A, C and D configurations. B-rated projects are likely to be observed only if they fall in a favorable LST range. We remind users of the Plateau de Bure interferometer that B-rated proposals which are not started before the end of the winter period have to be resubmitted again.

To optimize the scheduling efficiency, the configuration schedule of the interferometer was adjusted to the requirements of A-rated projects. The interferometer was moved to the B configuration at the beginning of December, and will move to the A configurations - the most extended six antenna configuration - as soon as the weather permits. We plan now to move the array to the C configuration at the beginning of March, and finally switch to the D configuration - the most compact - still before the end of March. According to these plans, it will not be possible to complete projects requesting deep integrations and low-resolution mapping before mid April. Global VLBI observations are planned at the end of April which include the Plateau de Bure interferometer in the 3mm phased-array mode.

Investigators who wish to check the status of their project, may consult the interferometer schedule on the Web at ../IRAMFR/PDB/ongoing.html. The page is updated two times a day.

next up previous
Next: Call for Proposals on Up: IRAM Newsletter 58 (February 2004) Previous: Bibliography