Emphasis will be put on observations at the shorter wavelengths. In total, about 3000 hours of observing time will be available, which should allow scheduling of a few longer programmes (up to hours).
The main news, proposal formalities, details of the various receivers, and observing modes are described below.
The additional HERA polarization makes necessary an expansion of the IF distribution system. A whole new set of the 120m long IF cables is installed together with switching units which permit flexible connections to continuum detectors, attenuators, and the increasing complement of backends.
A new broadband autocorrelator, WILMA (Wideband Line Multiple Autocorrelator), will be shipped to Pico Veleta in autumn. Although interfacing hardware and acquisition software still have to be prepared, we aim to have WILMA available when the full HERA array becomes operational. This autocorrelator, designed for exclusive use with the dual polarization HERA frontend, consists of 18 units each of which handles the full 1 GHz IF band of one HERA detector. Each WILMA band has 512 spectral channels with a spacing of 2 MHz.
VESPA is now fully operational in its many modes and configurations, including its cross correlation mode. Cross correlation is used for polarimetry (see below).
On the official cover page, please fill in the line `special requirements' if you request either polarimetric observations, service or remote observing. If the observations need or have to avoid specific dates, enter them here. If there are periods when you cannot observe for personal reasons, please specify them here.
We insist upon receiving, with proposals for heterodyne receivers, a complete list of frequencies corrected for source redshift (to 0.1 GHz) and precise positions. If in very special cases the proposers do not feel to be in a position to give this information, they should take up contact with the scheduler. The proposers should also specify on the cover sheet which receivers they plan to use.
In order to avoid useless duplication of observations and to protect already
accepted proposals, we keep up a computerized list of targets.
We ask you to fill out carefully the source list in J2000 coordinates.
This list must contain all the sources (and only those
sources) for which
you request observing time. To allow electronic scanning of your
source parameters, your list must adhere to the format indicated on the
proposal form (no hand writing, please).
If your source list is longer (e.g. more than 15 sources) than what
fits onto the cover page, please use the newly provided LATEX
A scientific project should not be artificially cut into several small projects, but should rather be submitted as one bigger project, even if this means 100-150 hours.
If time has already been given to a project but turned out to be insufficient, explain the reasons, e.g. indicate the amount of time lost due to bad weather or equipment failure; if the fraction of time lost is close to 100%, don't rewrite the proposal, except for an introductory paragraph. For continuation of proposals having led to publications, please give references to the latter.
A handbook (``The 30m Manual'') collects most of the information necessary to plan 30m telescope observations. The report entitled ``Calibration of spectral line data at the IRAM 30m telescope'' explains in detail the applied calibration procedure. Both documents can be retrieved from the URL ./IRAMES/otherDocuments/manuals/index.html. A catalog of well calibrated spectra for a range of sources and transitions (Mauersberger et al. ) is very useful for monitoring spectral line calibration. A copy of the 30m file with the calibrated spectra can be downloaded from the spanish web site.
The astronomer on duty (whose schedule can be found at URL ./IRAMES/groups/astronomy/aodsched.html) should be contacted well in advance of an observing run for any special questions concerning the preparation of an observing run (e.g. setup of on-the-fly maps etc).
Frequency switching is available for both HERA and the observatory's standard SIS receivers. This observing mode is interesting for observations of narrow lines where flat baselines are not essential, although the spectral baselines with HERA are among the best known in frequency switching. Certain limitations exist with respect to maximum frequency throw ( km/s), backends, phase times etc.; for a detailed report see .
This matter needs special attention as a serious time underestimate may be considered as evidence for sloppy proposal preparation. We strongly recommend to use the web-based Time Estimator (URL: ./IRAMES/obstime/time_estimator.html), whenever applicable. A new version 2.5 handles heterodyne (single pixel and HERA) as well as bolometer observations with updated instrumental parameters. Suggestions and questions can be addressed to Axel Weiß (email@example.com).
If very special observing modes are proposed which are not covered by the Time Estimator, proposers must give sufficient technical details so that their time estimate can be reproduced. In particular, the proposal must give values for , the spectral resolution, the expected antenna temperature of the signal, the signal/noise ratio which is aimed for, all overheads and dead times, and the resulting observing time. A technical report explaining how to estimate the telescope time needed to reach a given sensitivity level in various modes of observation was published in the January 1995 issue2 of the IRAM Newsletter . It has been included in the 30m telescope Manual .
Proposers should base their time request on normal winter conditions, corresponding to 4mm of precipitable water vapor. Conditions during afternoons can be degraded due to anomalous refraction. The observing efficiency is then reduced and the temperature calibration is more uncertain than the typical 10 percent. If exceptionally good transmission or stability of the atmosphere is requested which may be reachable only in best winter conditions, the proposers must clearly say so in their time estimate paragraph. Such proposals will however be particularly scrutinized.
As in the previous semesters, we plan to reserve a large fraction of the winter semester to pooled observing. The proposals participating in the pool are observed by Granada staff and cooperating external astronomers, under the coordination by Axel Weiss. The participating proposals are grouped according to their demand on weather quality, and they get observed following the priorities assigned by the program committee. The organization of the observing pool is described at ./IRAMES/observing/flexible/flexible.html. Typically, the bolometer proposals are included in the pool, along with suitable heterodyne proposals. Participation in the pool is voluntary, and the respective box on the proposal form should be checked.
To facilitate the execution of short (8 h) programmes, we propose ``service observing'' for some easy to observe programmes with only one set of tunings. Observations are made by the local staff using precisely laid-out instructions by the principal investigator. For this type of observation, we request an acknowledgement of the IRAM staff member's help in the forthcoming publication. If you are interested by this mode of observing, specify it as a ``special requirement'' in the proposal form. IRAM will then decide which proposals can actually be accepted for this mode.
This observing mode where the remote observer actually controls the telescope very much like on Pico Veleta, is available from the downtown Granada office, from MPIfR in Bonn, from ENS in Paris, from OAN in Madrid (near Parque de Retiro), and from IRAM in Grenoble. This observing mode is available to projects without particular technical demands and to experienced 30m users. The prospective remote observer should note ``remote observing'' as a special requirement in the proposal cover sheet.
After time has been awarded to a proposal, the P.I. is requested to give sufficient detail to the secretary, Cathy Berjaud (firstname.lastname@example.org) on how the remote observer can be contacted. Please note that IRAM is not responsible for the remote stations in Paris, Madrid, or Bonn.
Remote observers affiliated with the MPIfR or other institutes near Bonn should contact F. Bertoldi (email@example.com) or Dirk Muders (firstname.lastname@example.org) at MPIfR for a short introduction to the remote observing station. Remote observers in the Paris area may contact M. Gerin (email@example.com) for arrangements. Astronomers who want to use the Madrid station are requested to contact Javier Alcolea (firstname.lastname@example.org). Remote observers in or near Grenoble please contact (email@example.com) at IRAM. Observers visiting the 30m might opt to do some of their observing from Granada if it eases their travel constraints. In this case, a Granada astronomer should be contacted as soon as possible, arrangements on very short notice may not always be possible.
A derotator optical assembly can be set to keep the 9 pixel pattern stationary in the equatorial or horizontal system. Receiver characteristics (of the single polarization system) are listed in Tab. 1, and an updated user manual (version 1.7) is available on our web page.
Frequency tuning of HERA, although fully under remote control and automatic, is substantially more complicated than for the observatory's other SIS receivers. Although the tuning is still known for only a few frequencies, (the 3 CO isotopes at 230.5, 220.4, and 219.6 GHz; CS at 244.9 GHz; HCN at 265.9 GHz; HCO+ at 267.6 GHz; DCN and HC15N at 217.2 and 259 GHz; H2CO at 225.7 GHz; H30 at 231.9 GHz), HERA proposals for any frequency within the nominal tuning range of 210 - 276 GHz are invited, but we cannot guarantee at this moment that these proposals can actually be done. In any case, HERA observers should send the list of their frequencies to Granada as early as possible.
HERA can currently be connected to three sets of backends:
HERA is operational in two basic spectroscopic observing modes: (i) raster maps of areas typically not smaller than 1', in position, wobbler, or frequency switching modes, and (ii) on-the-fly maps of moderate size (typically 2' - 10'). Extragalactic proposals should take into account the current limitations of OTF line maps, as described in the User Manual, due to baseline instabilities induced by residual calibration errors. HERA proposers should use the web-based Time Estimator. For details about observing with HERA, consult the User manual. Karl Schuster (firstname.lastname@example.org), the HERA project scientist, or Albrecht Sievers, the astronomer in charge of HERA (email@example.com), may also be contacted.
Given the risk involved in the upgrade and considering that some relevant observational parameters are not yet well known for the full array, we request HERA proposers to use the parameters of the present single polarization array when estimating integration times. As mentioned above, the times scheduled for the successful proposals may then be adjusted, once the parameters of the full array are known.
Four dual polarization SIS receivers are available at the telescope for the upcoming observing season. They are designated according to the dewar in which they are housed (A, B, C, or D), followed by the center frequency (in GHz) of their tuning range. Their main characteristics are summarised in Tab. 1. All receivers are linearly polarized with the E-vectors, before rotation in the Martin-Puplett interferometers, either horizontal or vertical in the Nasmyth cabin. Up to four of these eight receivers can be combined for simultaneous observations in the four ways depicted in Tab. 1. Note that they cannot be combined with HERA nor with the bolometers. Also listed are typical system temperatures which apply to normal winter weather (4mm) at the center of the tuning range and at 45 elevation. All receivers are tuned by the operators from the control room. Experience shows that it normally takes not more than 15 min to tune four such receivers.
|A100||V||1||3||80 - 115.5||45 - 65||>20||1.5||0.5||120|
|B100||H||1||4||81 - 115.5||60 - 85||>20||1.5||0.5||130|
|C150||V||2||4||129 - 183||70 - 115||15 - 25||4.0||1.0||200|
|D150||H||2||3||129 - 183||60 - 150||8 - 17||4.0||1.0||200|
|A230||V||1||3||197 - 266||85 - 185||12 - 17||4.0||1.0||420||1|
|B230||H||1||4||197 - 266||95 - 160||12 - 17||4.0||1.0||420||1|
|C270||V||2||4||241 - 281||125 - 290||10 - 20||4.0||1.0||900||2|
|D270||H||2||3||241 - 281||130 - 300||9 - 13||4.0||1.0||900||2|
|HERA||H/V||210 - 276||110 - 380||4.0||1.0||400||1, 3|
Tuning of the single pixel/dual polarization receivers is now considerably faster and more reproducible than before. Particular frequencies, like those near a limit of the tuning range, may still be problematic, and we recommend in such cases to check with a Granada receiver engineer at least two weeks before the observations. HERA observers, however, are requested to send their frequencies as soon as their project gets scheduled.
An upgrade of the IF polarimeter is now available, where the cross correlation between the IF signals from a pair of orthogonally polarized receivers is made digitally in VESPA. The new observing procedure, designated XPOL, generates simultaneous spectra of all 4 Stokes parameters. The following combinations of spectral resolution (kHz) and bandwidth (MHz) are available: 40/120, 80/240, 320/480, and 1250/640. A few hardware and software complications still exist (involving manual wiring of LO cables and manual phase calibration) which are expected to be solved early in the next semester.
Although successful XPOL observations were made at several frequencies, experience is still limited, particularly with respect to long integrations and observations of extended sources. Data reduction software using CLASS enhanced with a graphical user interface is available (H. Wiesemeyer). A short guide (at http://www.iram.fr/IRAMFR/PV/veleta.html) describes XPOL observations. Polarimetry proposals are invited with the restriction that the target sources be not larger than the main beam, except in well justified cases.
The bolometer arrays, MAMBO-1 (37 pixels) and MAMBO-2 (117 pixels), consist of concentric hexagonal rings of horns centered on the central horn. Spacing between horns is . Each pixel has a HPBW of 11''. We expect that MAMBO-2 will be normally used, but MAMBO-1 is kept as a backup.
The effective sensitivity of MAMBO-1 for onoff and mapping observations is mJys . For MAMBO-2 effective sensitivities of mJys (ON/OFF mode) and mJys (mapping mode) were measured. Since in the mapping mode all beams cover the inner region of the map area, MAMBO-2 turns out to be more sensitive if areas of 2' and larger are to be mapped (see the Time Estimator). The sensitivities apply to bolometric winter conditions ( , elevation 45 deg, and application of skynoise reduction algorithms. In cases where skynoise reduction algorithms (simply the subtraction of correlated sky-noise) can not be applied (e.g. extended source structure), the effective sensitivity is typically about a factor of 2 worse. For those projects, only atmospheric conditions with low skynoise (i.e. stable atmosphere, no clouds, little turbulence) are recommened unless the expected signal is about 1 Jy/beam or stronger.
The bolometer arrays are mostly used in two basic observing modes, ON/OFF and mapping. Previous experience with MAMBO-2 shows that the ON/OFF reaches typically an rms noise of mJy in 10 min of total observing time (about 200 sec of ON source, or about 400 sec on sky integration time) under stable conditions. Up to 30 percent lower noise may be obtained in perfect weather. In this observing mode, the noise integrates down with time t as to rms noise levels below 0.5 mJy.
In the mapping mode, the telescope is scanned in azimuth (also the direction of the wobbler throw) in such a way that all pixels see the source once. A typical single map3 with MAMBO-2 covering a fully and homogeneously sampled area of (scanning speed: 5''per sec, raster step: 8'') reaches an rms of 2.8 mJy/beam in 1.3 hours. The area actually scanned ( ) is larger than this by the wobbler throw and the array size. Maps may be co-added to reach lower noise levels. Mosaicing is also possible to map larger areas. Attempts to reach map noise levels below 1 mJy are still fraught with poorly understood problems and require sophisticated data reduction. If such observations are proposed, the proposers must indicate how they plan to reach this ambitious goal.
The bolometers are used with the wobbling (at a rate of 2 Hz in azimuth) secondary mirror. The orientation of the beams on the sky changes with hour angle due to parallactic and Nasmyth rotation, as the array is fixed in Nasmyth coordinates. Special software is made available at the telescope for data reduction (NIC  and MOPSI). Time estimators for planning ON/OFF or mapping observations are also available [7,13].
Bolometer proposals will be pooled together like in previous semesters along with suitable heterodyne proposals. The web-based time estimator handles well the usual bolometer observing modes, and its use is again strongly recommended. The time estimator uses rather precise estimates of the various overheads which will be applied to all bolometer proposals. If exceptionally low noise levels are requested which may be reachable only in a perfectly stable (perfect winter) atmosphere, the proposers must clearly say so in their time estimate paragraph. Such proposals will however be particularly scrutinized. On the other extreme, if only strong sources are observed and moderate weather conditions are required, the proposal may be used as a backup in the observing pool. The proposal should point out this circumstance, as it affects positively the chance that the proposal is accepted and observed.
Table 2 lists the size of the telescope beam for the range of frequencies of interest. Forward and main beam efficiencies are also shown (see also the note by U. Lisenfeld and A. Sievers, IRAM Newsletter No. 47, Feb. 2001). The variation of the coupling efficiency to sources of different sizes can be estimated from plots in Greve et al. .
At 1.3 mm (and a fortiori at shorter wavelengths) a large fraction of the power pattern is distributed in an error beam which can be approximated by two Gaussians of FWHP and 800'' (see  for details). Astronomers should take into account this error beam when converting antenna temperatures into brightness temperatures. A variable and sometimes large contribution to the error beam was known to come from telescope astigmatism. Extensive work during the last years had shown that the astigmatism resulted from temperature differences between the telescope backup structure and the yoke. The recent installation of heaters in the yoke by J. Peñalver has nearly completely removed the astigmatism.
Since the systematic use of inclinometers the telescope pointing became much more stable. Pointing sessions are now scheduled only once every 2 weeks. The fitted pointing parameters typically yield an absolute rms pointing accuracy of better than 3'' . Receivers are closely aligned (within ). Checking the pointing, focus, and receiver alignment is the responsibility of the observers (use a planet for alignment checks). Systematic (up to 0.4 mm) differences between the foci of various receivers can occasionally occur. In such a case the foci should be carefully monitored and a compromise value be chosen. Not doing so may result in broadened and distorted beams ().
The following four spectral line backends are available which can be individually connected to any single pixel receiver and, if indicated, also to HERA.
The 1 MHz filterbank consists of 4 units. Each unit has 256 channels with 1 MHz spacing and can be connected to different or the same receivers giving bandwidths between 256 MHz and 1024 MHz. The maximum bandwidth is available for only one receiver, naturally one having a 1 GHz wide IF bandwidth. Connection of the filterbank in 1 GHz mode presently excludes the use of any other backend with the same receiver.
Other configurations of the 1 MHz filterbank include a setup in 2 units of 512 MHz connected to two different receivers, or 4 units of 256 MHz width connected to up to four (not necessarily) different receivers. Each unit can be shifted in steps of 32 MHz relative to the center frequency of the connected receiver.
The 100 KHz filterbank consists of 256 channels of 100 KHz spacing. It can be split into two halves, each movable inside the 500 MHz IF bandwidth, and connectable to two different receivers.
VESPA, the versatile spectrometric and polarimetric array, can be connected either to HERA or to a subset of 4 single pixel receivers, or to a pair of single pixel receivers for polarimetry. The many VESPA configurations and user modes are summarized in a Newsletter contribution  and in a user guide, but are best visualised on a demonstration program which can be downloaded from our web page at URL http://www.iram.fr/IRAMFR/PV/veleta.html. Connected to a set of 4 single pixel receivers VESPA typically provides up to 12000 spectral channels (on average 3000 per receiver). Up to 18000 channels are possible in special configurations. Nominal spectral resolutions range from 3.3 KHz to 1.25 MHz. Nominal bandwidths are in the range 10 -- 512 MHz. When VESPA is connected to HERA, up to 18000 spectral channels can be used with the following typical combinations of nominal resolution (KHz) and maximum bandwidth (MHz): 20/40, 40/80, 80/160, 320/320, 1250/640.
The 4 MHz filterbank consists of nine units. Each unit has 256 channels (spacing of 4 MHz, spectral resolution at 3 dB is 6.2 MHz) and thus covers a total bandwidth of 1 GHz. The 9 units are designed for connection to HERA, but a subset of 4 units can also be connected to the backend distribution box which feeds the single pixel spectral line receivers. All these receivers have a 1 GHz RF bandwidth except for A100 and B100 (500 MHz only). At the present time, a 4 MHz filterbank cannot be used simultaneously with the autocorrelator or the 100 KHz filterbank on the same receiver.
An on-line calibration routine automatically writes calibrated spectrometer data, including the 4 MHz filterbanks, to the linux machines. The routine, although still experimental, works for all observing modes. A logical link named ``data.30m'' pointing to this file of calibrated spectra is made available in all newly created project accounts.
The new autocorrelator WILMA consists of 18 units which connect to the 18 detectors of HERA. Each unit provides 512 spectral channels, spaced out by 2 MHz and thus covering a total bandwidth of 1 GHz. Each band is sliced into two 500 MHz subbands which are digitized with 2 bit/1GHz samplers. An informative technical overview of the architecture is available on the backend section of our web pages (URL: ./IRAMFR/TA/backend/veleta/wilma/index.html).