Following the successful installation and commissioning of the Next Generation Receivers (NGRs) for the 3mm and 1.3mm atmospheric windows last fall, regular observing was resumed on January 18th, 2007 when the array was in its 6D configuration. We switched to the A configuration (that provides baselines up to 760m) on January 28 and the baselines were determined with high precision (better than 14deg phase rms at 86GHz on the longest baselines). It is planned to move to the B configuration around end of February and to the C configuration by end of March. The switch back to the most compact configuration D is foreseen before end of April. According to these plans, it will not be possible to complete projects requesting deep integrations using the compact configurations before the end of the current observing period.
The observing conditions in January were quite mediocre due to the unusually warm winter in Europe, but they improved considerably by the end of the month. Only commissioning projects were observed with the NGR system in D configuration but as of February 13 already 17 tracks have been scheduled in A configuration for regular user projects.
As far as A-rated projects are concerned, we look forward to bring many of these to completion before the end of the current winter semester. 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.
Global VLBI observations, which include the array in the 3mm phased-array mode, are planned from May 10 to 15, 2007.
Investigators, who wish to check the status of their project, may consult the interferometer schedule on the Web at ../PDBI/ongoing.html. The page is updated daily.