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Observing proposals are invited for the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer
(PdBI), for the period May 15, 1997 to Nov. 15, 1997. The deadline for
applications is March 6th, 1997.
The available frequency range will be 82 GHz to 116 GHz for the 3mm band,
and 210-245 GHz for the 1.3 mm band.
Details of the PdBI and the observing procedures are given in the document
``An Introduction to the IRAM Plateau de Bure
Proposers should read this document carefully before submitting
Proposals should be sent to
IRAM Scientific Secretariat
Interferometer Observing Proposal
300 Rue de la Piscine
F-38406 Saint Martin d'Hères Cedex
IRAM expects to schedule and complete between 20 to 30 projects in this period,
with an elapsed time of at least two months between start and end of any given
project. Selection will be based on scientific merit, technical feasibility,
and adequacy to the instrument.
For this call for proposal, please note the following:
- Proposal Category
Proposal should be submitted in one of the 4
strict categories defined below:
- Category 1:
- Proposals that ask for 3mm data ONLY.
1.3 mm receivers can still be used to provide either phase stability
information or purely qualitative information such as the mere
existence of fringes. The maximum available baseline length will be
about 300 m.
- Category 2:
- Proposals that ask for 1.3mm data ONLY.
3mm receivers will be used for pointing and calibration purposes, but cannot
provide any imaging. The maximum available baseline length will
be about 200 m.
- Category 3:
- Proposals that ask for dual-frequency observations.
The maximum available baseline length will be about 200 m.
- Category 4:
- Exploratory proposals:
Proposals whose scientific interest justifies the attempt to use the
PdB array beyond its guaranteed capabilities. This category includes
for example long baselines observations, non standard frequencies for
which tuning cannot be guaranteed, and more generally all non standard
observations. These proposals will be carried on a ``best effort'' basis.
The proposal category will have to be specified on the proposal
and should be carefully considered by proposers.
Heavy maintenance is foreseen for antennas 1 to 4. Accordingly, the
Plateau de Bure array will operate:
- in 4 antenna configuration for May to August.
- in 5 antenna configuration for September, October and November.
The configurations are given in Table 1.
4 Antenna configurations|
|Name || Stations |
|D1 || W05 W00 E03 N05 |
D2 || W10 W01 E03 N09 |
C1 || W20 W05 N09 N17 |
C2 || E10 W09 N03 N15 |
B1 || E16 E24 N11 N17 |
B2 || W12 W09 E24 N20 |
A1 || W27 W20 E23 N29 |
Table 1: Plateau de Bure Interferometer: available configuration sets
A2 || W23 E04 E24 N29 |
5 Antenna configurations|
|Name || Stations |
|D || W05 W00 E03 N05 N09 |
C1 || W05 W01 E10 N07 N13 |
C2 || W12 W09 E10 N05 N15 |
B1 || W12 E18 E23 N13 N20 |
B2 || W23 W12 E12 N17 N29 |
A || W27 W23 E16 E24 N29 |
With 5 antennas, the PdB interferometer offers 6 configuration sets:
Set || 4 ant Config. || 5 Ant Config. || Main purpose |
|D || D1, D2 || D || ``Low'' resolution at 1.3 mm |
CD || D1, C1, C2 || D, C2 or C1 || 3.5'' resolution at 3mm, 1.8'' resolution at 1.3 mm |
CC || n.a. || C1, C2 || Slightly higher resolution than CD. |
BC || C1, C2, B1, B2 || B1, C2 || 2'' resolution at 3 mm |
BB || n.a. || B1, B2, C2 || Better sensitivity than BC |
AB || B1, B2, A1, A2 || A, B1, B2 || 1'' resolution at 3 mm |
There is a possibility of choice between
CD and CC arrays when configuration C2 has been performed
for sources in which the resolution choice is unclear. At a higher
resolution level, a similar choice between CC and BC or BB is
- 1.3 mm band and dual-frequency observations
All antennas are now equipped with fully operational dual frequency
receivers. The 3mm and 1.3mm receivers are aligned to within about
2'', allowing proper dual frequency observations.
Experience based on the past year
shows that 1.3 mm observations are seldom feasible
in summer time, and that such observations are possible only for
objects transiting during the night of the August to October period.
Accordingly, 1.3mm or dual-frequency projects for other objects will
be considered as ``Category 4'' proposals, i.e. will be carried out
on a best effort basis only, weather permitting.
- Very long baselines: configuration A
Configuration A will NOT be scheduled for the next session.
- Signal to Noise
The rms noise can be computed from
- is the system temperature in scale (150 K below 110 GHz,
300 K at 115 GHz, 500 K at 230 GHz)
- is the conversion factor from Kelvin to Jansky (22 at 3mm, 35 at 1.3mm)
- is an efficiency factor due to atmospheric phase noise (0.9 at
3 mm, 0.6 at 1.3 mm)
- is the number of antennas (4 or 5), and is the basic number of
configurations (with 4 antennas: 2 for D, 3 for CD, 4 for BC; with 5 antennas
1 for D, 2 for CD, 3 for BC)
- T is the integration time per configuration in seconds (3 to 8 hours,
depending on source declination)
- B is the channel bandwidth in Hz (500 MHz for continuum, 40 kHz
to 2.5 MHz for spectral line, according to spectral correlator setup)
Below 110 GHz, receivers offer best performances in LSB tuning
with high rejection (20 dB): expected system temperatures are
(in scale) 150 to 200 K for the summer time. Above 110 GHz,
best performances are obtained with USB tuning, low rejection
(4 to 6 dB): expected system temperatures are 300 K at 115 GHz.
DSB tuning is possible over the whole frequency range, but the
system temperature may degrade significantly.
The 1.3 mm receivers give DSB tuning with typical T below 50 K.
Expected SSB system temperature are 400 to 500 K. However a relatively
narrow resonance significantly degrades the performances near 245 GHz.
The guaranteed tuning range is 210-245 GHz, but it may be possible
to reach lower frequencies for specific cases. Higher frequencies are
not feasible because of limitations in the triplers.
- Coordinates and Velocities
The interferometer operates in the J2000.0 system. For best
positioning accuracy, source coordinates must be in the J2000.0 system;
position errors of up to 0.3'' may occur otherwise.
Please do not forget to specify LSR velocities for the sources. For
pure continuum projects, the ``special'' velocity NULL (no Doppler
tracking) can be used.
Coordinates and velocities in the proposal MUST BE CORRECT:
A coordinate error is a potential cause for proposal rejection.
The correlator has 6 independent units, each being tunable anywhere
in the 110-610 MHz band, and providing 4 choices of bandwidth/channel
configuration: 160 MHz/64, 80 MHz/128, 40 MHz/256 and 20 MHz/256.
For the 40, 80 and 160 MHz bandwidth, the two central channels may be
perturbed by the Gibbs phenomenon (depending on continuum strength):
it is recommended to avoid centering the most important part of the
lines in the middle of the band of the correlator unit.
The 6 units can be independently placed either on IF1 (3 mm receiver)
or on IF2 (1.3 mm receiver).
- 40 kHz resolution:
One (and ONLY ONE) of the 6 units has been retrofitted to offer a
higher frequency resolution (40 kHz instead of 80 kHz). This is
obtained by operating at half clock-speed and inserting an
anti-aliasing filter of effective bandwidth 8 MHz. Because the filter
reduces the input power to the sampler, this unit should be placed
near the maximum amplitude of the IF bandpass: band edges must be
- Sun Avoidance:
For safety reasons, the sun avoidance circle has been extended to 45
degrees. Please take this into account for your sources and for the
The PdBI has mosaicing capabilities, but the pointing accuracy may be a
limiting factor at the highest frequencies. Please contact S.Guilloteau
in case of doubts.
- Data reduction
Proposers should be aware of constraints for data reduction:
Data reduction will be carried out on the dedicated HP workstations.
- In general, data will be reduced in Grenoble. Proposers will not
come for the observations, but will have to come for the reduction.
- We keep the data reduction schedule very flexible, but
wish to avoid the presence of more than 2 groups at the same time
in Grenoble. Please contact us in advance.
- IRAM may consider splitting the data reduction in two phases:
intermediate calibration and final mapping. Such a splitting is often
absolutely necessary for the high resolution images. In such a case,
the proposers must be ready to come at IRAM for fast data reduction
of the ``compact'' configurations.
- CLIC is still evolving fast to cope with the evolution of
the PdBI array. The newer versions are upward compatible with the
previous releases, but the reverse is not true. Observers wanting to
finish data reduction at their home institute should obtain an updated
version of CLIC, which is now available. Because differences between
CLIC versions may potentially result in imaging errors if new data are
reduced with an old package, we insist that observers having a copy of
CLIC take special care in maintaining it up-to-date.
- Local contact:
Depending upon the program complexity, IRAM may require an in-house
collaborator instead of the normal local contact.
- Technical pre-screening:
All proposals will be reviewed for technical feasibility in parallel
to being sent to the members of the program committee. Please help in
this task by submitting technically precise proposals. Scientific
justification should be kept within 2 pages. Note that your proposal
must be complete and exact: velocities, position and frequency setup
must be exactly specified.
- Non-standard observations:
Please contact S.Guilloteau in case of doubt about non-standard
The documentation for the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer includes
documents of general interest to potential users:
More specialized documents are also available; they are intended for
observers on the site (IRAM on-duty astronomers, operators, or observers
with non-standard programs):
Finally, we would like to stress again the importance of the
quality of the observing proposal. The IRAM interferometer is a powerful, but
complex and unique instrument, and proposal preparation requires
special care. Information is available in the documentation, and the
IRAM staff can help in case of doubts if contacted well before the
deadline. Note that the proposal should not only justify the
scientific interest, but also demonstrate how the Plateau de Bure
interferometer will bring new information.
Next: Scientific results
Up: IRAM Newsletter 30 (January