NRAO Telescope Plan for Observing Unique Astronomical Events

Approved by Users Committee in June 2006

When a galactic supernova or similar one-time event occurs, the site directors should be notified immediately. The most effective means of doing so may be via the on-duty telescope operators for VLA and GBT, who should have a call-out list of phone numbers.

A galactic supernova or other unique astronomical event will have the highest priority for all NRAO telescopes. The observer on the telescopes will be immediately displaced if the telescopes can be pointed at the location of the supernova. The site director will designate an observer to reduce data as rapidly as possible as it comes off the telescope - an early flux determination is of greatest urgency. The observation frequency will be chosen by the director and this designated observer after consideration of the circumstances. After a secure detection or upper limit, the flux will be reported via CBET, preferably within minutes. The CBET will be submitted in the name of the site director and his designated observer only.

All raw data, until further notice, will be freely available to anyone requesting them.

Subsequent observations will be determined by a committee of the highest scientific caliber, with membership established by consultation among NRAO management, designees of the NRAO User Committee, and such other scientists as it seems desirable to consult at the time. NRAO will make observations for the community, and commit to reducing them immediately, making all data products available to the community with no proprietary period.

The nature of the observations would be determined for all NRAO telescopes by using the following committee:

  1. Head of Division of Science and Academic Affairs (DSAA)--CHAIR
  2. Site directors from GBT and VLA/VLBA
  3. Users Committee member(s) at large
  4. Other experts, inside or outside NRAO, at discretion of DSAA head
  5. NRAO director, ex-officio
  6. GBT and VLA/VLBA Scheduling Officers, ex-officio

The presence of the site directors on this group will ensure that the observations of all NRAO telescopes are coordinated and complementary. The DSAA Head may designate someone else to act as chair; in the absence of the DSAA head, one or both of the site directors will chair the group.

This should go on for of order a month or less. Then, depending on the nature of the event, NRAO could call for competitive proposals for observing technique/approach, but with zero proprietary period.

Modified on: Friday, 26-Sep-2008 12:09:21 MDT