Following the successful installation and commissioning of the New Generation Receivers (NGRs) for the 3mm and 1.3mm atmospheric windows last autumn, regular observing was resumed on January 18th, 2007 when the array in its D configuration. We switched to the A array on January 28 and moved to a configuration intermediate between A and B (keeping the three longest baselines) on March 7. The B configuration was scheduled from March 18 until March 30 only, because of very poor weather conditions. The C configuration was then available until April 24, when the interferometer was brought back into its D configuration. Many projects requesting the C configuration, notably at 1mm, could not be finished yet and will be deferred to the end of the summer/beginning of the upcoming winter semester. Since May 22nd the array is observing with 5 antennas in D configuration. The current antenna maintenance period is foreseen to end in October.
All in all, the observing conditions were quite mediocre due to the unusually warm winter and humid spring in Europe.
As far as A-rated projects are concerned, we look forward to bring many of these to completion before the end of the current summer 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 upcoming proposal deadline have to be resubmitted. In any case, all projects will be kept on the schedule until the end of the summer semester (i.e. until November 30). 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.
The global VLBI session, which includes the array in the 3mm phased-array mode, started on time on May 10. The interferometer, equipped with a new maser and the new receiving system successfully participated for two nights.
It is foreseen to equip all 6 antennas with 2mm mixers still in the current summer period. The 2mm band will be offered to the community in the following Call for Proposals on a shared-risk basis only, since delays in the installation cannot be excluded and the overall performance of the receivers is not known yet.