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What Cycle 5 proposal issues and clarifications should I be aware of before submitting my proposal?
Posted by Tony Remijan, Last modified by Fumi Egusa on 20 April 2017 04:09 AM

This Knowledgebase article is a repository for information relevant to submission of Cycle 5 proposals.  These items may affect how users write their proposals or set up their observations in the OT.  The content may evolve rapidly as the 20 April, 2017 proposal deadline approaches.  Items added to this list after its initial deployment will include the date they were added. We encourage all PIs to check back here regularly prior to proposal submission.   

UPDATE (12 April 2017) :  An error was discovered that did not allow the sky coverage of Cycle 4 mosaic observations to be displayed correctly in the ALMA Archive.  As such, proposers using the archive search capabilities to identify possible positional duplications on existing Cycle 4 observing programs may not have found overlaps.  Proposers who used this archive feature before 12 April 2017 to identify possible overlaps in position should conduct the search again to ascertain if there are any overlaps found now that the mosaic patterns of Cycle 4 observations are now properly rendered.

Relevant Documentation and Knowledgebase Articles:

Notable Changes from Earlier Cycles:

OT Issues and Updates:

Some users are reporting corrupted .aot files that cause them to lose their progress. Please use the Save As option in the OT to save multiple versions of your proposal as backups.

Documentation Clarifications and Updates:

[Added April 20, 2017] RE: overriding time estimate by OT: Proposers Guide (Appendix B.4), OT Users Manual (Sect., and OT Reference Manual (Sect. 5.5) are not fully consistent. The correct description is "This should be the time required for the most-extended 12-m configuration, including calibration and overheads.", as written in the Users Manual. The Reference Manual statement "The time entered must be equal to the total time required for all the arrays, including calibration and overheads." is not correct.

Update: ALL ACA standalone observations (regardless of being a large program or not) must be STANDARD modes. ACA standalone cannot be anything non-standard. The non-standard modes are listed in Section 5.2 of the ALMA Proposer's Guide.

Proposers Guide Section 1.3: "The requested observing time will be split among the regions (North America, Europe, East Asia, and Chile) based on the proportionality of the regional affiliation of the PI and co-PIs (Sections 6.5.3)." This statement refers to section 6.5.3 of the proposers guide which is a break down of the overall time allocation for cycle 5 proposals. For an explanation of time allocation for a single VLBI or Large Program due to the affiliations of the PI and co-PIs please view section 6.4 or the User Policies document.

Proposers Guide Section 2.1: RE: Availability of Band 5: "Observations for accepted proposals will start in March 2018. Consequently, PIs should select in their proposals angular resolutions achievable with configurations available from that date."  To ensure that enough Band 5 receivers are installed and commissioned on the array, the March 2018 restriction applies to all Arrays (12-m, 7-m and TP).  Therefore, Band 5 observations cannot be guaranteed until after March 2018.

Proposers Guide Sect. 2.3: "Continuum data taken in Bands 9 and 10 will have 90-Degree Walsh-switching both in the 12-m and 7-m Arrays. This increases the bandwidth available for continuum observations in these bands to 16 GHz". Where it says 16 GHz, it should say 15 GHz.

Proposers Guide Sect. 5.4.2: "Observations started in a previous cycle and accepted as a resubmission in Cycle 5 will continue to be observed with the setup of the previous cycle even if the setup has “slightly changed”4 in the current cycle." Users should be aware that even if a science goal of a Cycle 4 proposal has been started during Cycle 4, in order to continue observations during Cycle 5 (if the observations have not been completed by the end of Cycle 4), the PI must resubmit the proposal to Cycle 5 and have it accepted as a resubmission during the Cycle 5 Proposal Review Process. The only exception refers to grade A Cycle 4 proposals, which are automatically carried over to Cycle 5.

Technical Handbook Sect. 8.10: "One target (one ephemeris file) is allowed for each science goal."  The Cycle 5 OT will allow for multiple targets (ie. multiple ephemeris files) to be added within a science goal for solar observations.  However, this mode will fail on the array and solar observers will be restricted to only one target per science goal.  Solar observers should take special care to ensure that this requirement is satisfied and work with their local ARC for support if there are any questions in setting up their Phase 1 science goals.

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