e-MERLIN/VLBI National Facility
CALL FOR e-MERLIN PROPOSALS - Cycle-3
e-MERLIN requests proposals from the international astronomical community for observations to be made during Cycle-3. Proposals are competitively peer-reviewed under standard STFC rules by the PATT e-MERLIN Time Allocation Committee. Allocation will be made on the basis of scientific merit and technical feasibility alone. During the first 5 semesters of e-MERLIN operations ~50% of observing time has been allocated to 12 large legacy projects and most of the remaining time will be allocated via PATT to standard proposals solicited prior to each observing semester.
e-MERLIN provides high resolution (40-150mas) and high sensitivity (~-14 microJy [inc. lovell Telescope] in Cycle-3) imaging at cm wavelengths as well as polarimetry, spectroscopy and astrometry. Cycle-3 observations will commence in September 2015.
Developments during Cycle-3: Following final testing and
commissioning, the introduction of the full 2 GHz bandwidth at
C-Band is scheduled for delivery during the cycle-3 observing
period. PATT observations made after this development may benefit
from this extra bandwidth once it becomes available, however, this
will be offered initially on a shared-risk basis. All proposals
should be justified assuming the current available bandwidth of 512MHz.
Deadline for Receipt of Proposals - 23:59:59 UT on 30th April 2015
L-Band: 1.23GHz to 1.74GHz
C-Band: 4.5GHz to 7.5GHz
- Commencing in Summer 2015, The University of Manchester is undertaking a 15 Million pounds work programme on the Lovell Telescope. As such during this e-MERLIN cycle there will be a limited availability of up to 10 days of the Lovell telescope for the inclusion within e-MERLIN PATT observations at L and C-band. Proposers must make a detailed case for the inclusion of the Lovell telescope in their proposed observations.
- During Cycle 3, e-MERLIN C-band operations utilising bandwidths wider than 512MHz will be on a best-efforts basis and no programmes are guaranteed. Proposals should assume 512MHz observing bandwidth. However, PIs of allocated proposals which may benefit from these enhanced capabilities will be informed and given the option to use these capabilities.
- Proposers should consult the allocated e-MERLIN legacy programme to avoid conflicts (see notes below). In cases where PATT proposals directly replicate portions of allocated legacy projects, legacy projects will normally be given priority.
- During Cycle-3 there is one VLBI session. Simultaneous joint VLBI+e-MERLIN observations cannot be guaranteed although every effort will be made to provide simultaneous or contemporanious matching e-MERLIN observations for joint programmes. EVN proposals should be submitted to the EVN Programme Committee - details for proposing for EVN time can be found via the EVN web pages.
The system parameters for observation of a continuum source in optimum conditions are:-
|Maximum angular resolution||~150||~40||(milliarcsec)|
|RMS level for 12 hr on source||~14/7**||~13/7**||(uJy/bm)|
More extensive technical details are available at e-MERLIN cycle-3 capabilities.
Proposals should be submitted via the e-MERLIN Web-based Northstar Proposal
Tool. The proposal tool will be open for proposal submissions from 25th March 2015.
See notes below:
- The sensitivities quoted are under ideal conditions and assume no contribution from confusion or dynamic range limitations. So far, from observations of 12-24 hrs duration have reached sensitivities within few percent of these nominal values at L-band, with and without the Lovell Telescope in optiml observing conditions.
- ** The use of the Lovell telescope at L-Band, and at C-Band with the new receiver systems, reduces the 12 hr rms noise level in the central part of the field of view by ~50% compared with the array not including the Lovell Telescope.
- Frequency switching: Due to commissioning commitments in cycle-1, rapid cycling between L- and C-Band will not be permitted. Within C-Band, frequency changes on time-scales of >2 hour will be possible. However, proposers should note that such programmes (e.g. cycling between observing bands 4.5-5.0GHz and 6.5-7.0GHz within a single observing run) will result in significant additional calibration overheads. Proposals with frequency changes faster than once every 2hrs will not be permitted.
- Nominal sensitivities are based upon a 12-hr on target observation (~18-hr equivalent with calibration). All quoted sensitivities are for ideal conditions. During cycle-3 projected sensitivities are subject to changes due to on-going commissioning activities and cannot be guaranteed.
- Details of available spectral line configurations are available at http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/observe/cycle2.html.
- Proposers should take careful note of the observations allocated to the e-MERLIN legacy groups (see http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/legacy/). The e-MERLIN Legacy programmes will run concurrently with PATT observations from cycle-1 for up to 5 semesters. In cases where PATT proposals directly replicate portions of allocated legacy projects, legacy projects will normally be given priority. All e-MERLIN legacy proposal are available at http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/legacy/. Proposers requiring further information should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification well in advance of proposal submission.
- Access to e-MERLIN for Scientists from EU Countries: e-MERLIN is one of the participating institutes in the RadioNet project from which transnational access (TNA) within the EU to existing observing facilities is financially supported. TNA support envisaged for the RadioNet3 provision from January 1st 2012 includes travel reimbursement for data reduction visits to the e-MERLIN support facility in JBCA Manchester for TNA-enabled programmes. Please note that due to the end date of the RadioNet3 programme, any TNA financial assistance must be claimed and processed before the end of 2015.
Jodrell Bank Observatory,
Cheshire SK11 9DL,
Telephone: +44 (0)1477 571321,
Facsimile: +44 (0)1477 571618,