The Compact Array usually operates under a semester system with two application deadlines each year: around June 15 for observations from October 1 to March 31; and around December 15 for observations from April 1 to September 30. During each semester array maintenance, upgrades and array reconfigurations (moving the antennas to different stations) are scheduled in addition to astronomical observations. Target of Opportunity (ToO) requests for observations of extremely important transient or non-predicted events can be made at any time. To learn how to apply for ToO observing time, visit our webpage.
Based on previous experience, observing at 3mm usually ends by October 15, restarting in late April. Detection experiments at 7mm and 15mm usually end by October 31, restarting in early March. Observations of bright compact sources, for which self-calibration is possible, may be made throughout the year. Observations at times other than those indicated above require an explicit justification in the proposal.
Check our web page for information about the current status of the ATNF facilities. Before submitting proposals to observe particular objects, you should check that the observation you are proposing has not already been made. Previous Compact Array proposals and observations can be found in the ATOA (Australia Telescope Online Archive). After the proprietary period has expired, the data files from previous observations may be downloaded from ATOA.
All ATNF Telescope Applications must be submitted using OPAL.
All observing projects are now allocated a “friend” who can help when preparing for observations, and with later data analysis. Friends will only help observers who visit the Marsfield Science Operations Centre (SOC) to do their observations. Friends are allocated based on their expertise. For those projects with ATNF co-investigators, one of the co-investigators will be assigned as the friend.
A duty astronomer (DA) is provided at the SOC who will help in the initial set up of the telescope and with any problems which arise in the course of the observations. In addition, they may also be able to help with schedule preparation and initial data analysis, although requesting the help of your “friend” is a better option for observers that require this help, as they will be involved much earlier than the DA. The duty astronomer has no obligation to participate in the observing, however, and should not be asked to do so.