WSRT call for proposals

LEGACY Call for proposals to use the WSRT


Supplemental call for WSRT MFFE-proposals

The deadline to submit WSRT proposals is:

Monday October 6 2014, at 12:00 UT (14:00 CEST)

Submission via the web-based tool NorthStar, category regular.


Observing proposals are solicited for observing time remaining before the transition to APERTIF on the WSRT with MFFE receivers in 2014 and beginning of 2015.

Astronomers from all countries can apply for observing time on the WSRT; overall science merit will be the primary selection criterion for allocation, subject to technical feasibility and scheduling constraints.

Available Time

Observations from the last regular WSRT call are currently being observed. Some of the dishes are already being converted now for APERTIF, but full conversion to Apertif may well lead to a final stop of MFFE observing only in May 2015. Next to the remainder of the currently allocated projects, there is the potential to schedule up to 2000 hours for new science proposals using the existing MFFE and DZB system. Initially, the majority of the remaining time will consist of 10-hour gaps in the range of 16:00 to 09:00 LST. It is recommended to submit proposals filling these gaps, but other proposals will also be considered, especially for 2015. Note that due to preparations for the conversion to Apertif the number of available MFFE dishes can vary from 8 to 11; later in 2015, the number may go down to 6. No guarantees can be given regarding the available baselines and telescope configuration. While imaging projects are not ruled out, it is envisaged that this period will be mostly useful for non-imaging projects, such as flux density monitoring, point-source spectral (absorption) line or polarization studies, etc. The amount of time may be parameterized in terms of sensitivity, i.e. the combination of number of telescopes and total integration time. Allocations will be prioritized; while some indication will be provided of the likelihood of scheduling, no guarantees for scheduling or repetition in case of failures will be given. Proposers for imaging observations should indicate the minimum acceptable number of dishes.

Descriptions of the Urgent and Service proposal categories can be found via the "Policy for WSRT Observing" of the ASTRON website; these can be submitted at any time.

General information on the capabilities of the WSRT, with its 14x25m dishes, suite of sensitive receivers spanning 250 MHz to 8.7 GHz, powerful and flexible correlator, and pulsar and VLBI backends, can be obtained online.

Proposers should consider designing projects and samples to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the generally unevenly distributed oversubscription as a function of Right Ascension (i.e., LST); some recent histograms are shown online. Proposals for projects that can be executed in multiple 24 hour blocks are also expressly invited, because of the logistical ease in carrying them out.

Since Semester 10B, astronomers can query the WSRT archive online for WSRT data that have been taken since 2000. Data that are in the public domain, can then be requested by sending an email to wsrt-support [at] astron [dot] nl, identifying the project name and the sources they require.

Proposers should take note of EU encouragement to form teams with a European dimension, as it provides valuable financial support. When both the PI and at least 50% of the proposers have an affiliation outside The Netherlands, yet in an EU or affiliated country, their approved WSRT proposals are eligible for RadioNet TransNational Access support.

WSRT proposals of any kind must be submitted only via the web-based tool, NorthStar.

R.C. Vermeulen
Director, Radio Observatory at ASTRON

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