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Knowledgebase : ALMA Observing Tool (OT)
Certain types of observing program require special attention by an ALMA Staff Phase 2 Group (P2G) member after the PI has submitted the Scheduling Blocks (SBs), in order to ensure successful execution at the telescope and the highest possible quality d...
A proposal from a previous cycle submitted to the ALMA archive can be loaded into the OT as a new proposal directly from the archive using 'File -> Open Project as New Proposal'. Regardless of its status (e.g. accepted, partially observed) the proposal...
Indeed, you can set up monitoring observations in two different ways depending on the observing strategy. For monitoring programmes with sparse temporal sampling (e.g. you want to observe a source every month) you should select 'Are the observations...
You can write out the pointings set up in the OT to ASCII for both "Individual Pointing(s)" and "1 rectangular field" target types by hitting the "Export" button in the Field Center Coordinates section of the Field Setup editor. Note that this will ...
When using the "1 Rectangular Field" option to set up a standard mosaic the OT accounts for overlapping pointings and you should enter the sensitivity required over the mosaic to be used for the time estimate. However, if you are defining a custom m...
Yes. ALMA Sensitivity Calculator now takes into account the shadowing effect, by reducing the effective antenna surface area according to the target declination. More detailed information is available in Chapter "ALMA Sensitivity Calculator" of Technical ...
No, you cannot decline the Total Power observations to reduce the total time required for the proposal. The OT automatically computes whether or not 7-m Array and Total Power (TP) observations are necessary based on the 'Largest Angular Structure in...
In the 'Expected Source Properties' section of the 'Field Setup' editor you are required to enter an estimate for the continuum and/or line peak flux density per synthesized beam for each source defined. These fluxes will guide your choice of requested...
The total data rate in an observation is an estimate of the total instantaneous data rate summed over all basebands based on the current parameter settings. Please see the OT Reference Manual and the OT User Manual, available from the Science Portal un...
The use of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) will automatically be selected by the Observing Tool (OT) when needed (see the section "Imaging Considerations - Arrays and Configurations" in the ALMA OT User Manual [1]). The OT will decide whether the ACA i...
Solar system bodies which are not included in the "Choose a Solar System object?" drop-down list in the Field Setup section of a Science Goal can be specified using the 'Ephemeris' option in the same list. This lets you load a JPL Horizons file as the ...
Suppose you want to observe the CO(1-0) line in a galaxy for which the integrated CO(1-0) line flux density is known from previous observations,or estimated based on simulations etc. Let us first assume that the proposed ALMA observations will not spat...
You need not give coordinates for a proposal to validate successfully. For a target-of-opportunity (ToO) observations of an unknown target (e.g. a gamma ray burst), or observations of a moving target, you only need to specify the name (e.g. GRB1) and leav...
You can load multiple sources into a Science Goal using an ASCII file stored on your local disk. For each target, the text file must contain a list of comma-separated entries according to the following template: Name, RA(sexagesimal), Dec(sexagesima...
While the ALMA OT comes loaded with several digitized sky surveys that can be searched for online, you can also load your own image, provided that it is in FITS format with coordinates defined in the J2000 system (Galactic coordinates are not supported). ...
You cannot explicitly select which sideband a spectral window will be placed in, since the OT automatically configures a solution based on the spectral windows defined. However, you may be able to change the sideband in which a given spectral window is...
You can see how much time is assumed for calibration by using the "Time Estimate" function on the "Control and Performance" page of the Science Goal. After you set up your science goal sensitivity requirements, simply click on the "Time Estimate" butto...
The OT has a built in utility to easily set up rectangular, equally spaced mosaics using the "1 rectangular Field" option in the "Field Setup" editor. This is the easiest way of setting up mosaics, since the sensitivity entered is that desired over the...
In the Control & Performance editor of the OT you can choose between two types of time-constrained observations: * single visit: the observation needs to be executed only once within either one or several possible time windows. You can enter these ...
A new release of the OT, containing the most up-to-date information on observatory capabilities, will be announced with every observing cycle in the call for proposals. The Web Start installation automatically updates itself. If you installed the OT man...
If the transition of interest is so close to the edge of a sideband that the half-width of the desired spectral window puts the edge of the window beyond the band edge, you need to either (1) choose a narrower spectral window, or (2) change the central...
The default way of observing four or fewer lines in the OT is to assign each spectral window to a separate baseband. Having 3 basebands in one sideband and 1 in the other is not allowed for the "Sideband Separating" (2SB) receivers used for Bands 3, 4,...
In spectral scan mode the spectral setup has some overlap both between the spectral windows of a given tuning, and between individual tunings. This ensures that the edge channels that are most likely to be affected by technical problems can be flagged ...
uv-coverage is not expected to be a significant issue. Even snapshot observations will have sufficient uv-coverage for the vast majority of projects. You can verify this using the SIMdata task in CASA or the ALMA Observation Support Tool, available fro...
For a short time during 2014, users running a version of Java 7 with an update number of 51 or higher found that the OT would not start because of the following security exception: "Missing required Permissions manifest attribute in main jar". This ...
Users may notice that the calibration times for projects that require multiple tunings (multiple source redshifts or spectral scans) are very high, particularly for projects that require multiple executions. This is because SBs in multi-tuning mode obs...
Individual targets that are larger than 1/3 of the Field of View (FOV) of the 12-m Array will require a Nyquist sampled mosaic to obtain uniform sensitivity across the field due to the sensitivity fall-off towards the edges of the primary beam. This can b...
The symptom: On windows machines (particularly it seems, in EA-ARC), the OT may not open - often it simply closes itself down, before even the basic startup procedure. If the tarball version of the OT is run, the output of the /users//.almaot/ot.log fil...
If the Observing Tool is started from a Mac, many users who are running OS X Lion (10.7) or later may find that clicking on the Web Start icon in a browser does not, as used to be the case, start the OT automatically. This turns out to be due to a feature...
In the ALMA system, no portion of the baseband or spectral window can lie outside of either the IF or RF range. This fact alone does not present any unforeseen limitations on what can be observed within the specified ranges. However, an issue arises becau...
Only one spectral setup is allowed per Science Goal. A spectral setup is defined as a combination of an observing mode (spectral line/continuum/spectral scan), a polarisation option (XX, Dual, Full), and a set of user-input frequencies that determine the ...
If you have problems with the installation and/or startup of the OT, please consult the Troubleshooting page [1]. This also includes a link to a "Known Issues" page that documents bugs or undesirable behaviour that have not yet been fixed. If you ne...
The Web Start version of the OT and Archive Download Manager require the JNLP file to be executed with javaws. If your default java client is another application (ex. IcedTea), the file will launch this application and give you the error: Fatal: Ini...
If the OT outputs a nonsensical PDF when you try to print the whole proposal, or if you notice anomalies like running over the allotted space for your abstract or missing your list of co-I's, it is likely to be related to the unavailability of fonts on th...
The PDF proposal summary generated by the OT reports three time estimates: the total time required on the 12-m Array for all configurations, the total ACA (7-m Array plus total power) time, and the non-standard mode time required on the 12-m Array. Sin...
ALMA is capable of receiving two orthogonal polarizations (X and Y) simultaneously, each of which detects half of the radiation from an unpolarized source; the frequencies detected by each polarization are identical. Therefore, if both X and Y are detecte...
A source as defined by the OT is a collection of parameters comprising the source coordinates, its proper motion, radial velocity, and expected source properties (line/continuum peak flux density, line width and polarization percentage). It may have a ...
In order to change the column that is used to enable a primary sort of the rows in the Spectral Line Picker, it is necessary to double-click the desired column. This will cause a big triangle to appear in that column's heading and subsequent single cli...
In Cycle 4, PIs of approved projects will generate the Scheduling Blocks (SBs) needed for observing at ALMA before the Phase 2 deadline, set to 15 UT on September 15, 2016, following the steps described in the the document "Phase 2 Quick Start Guide", ...
The technical justification guidelines are given in relevant section in the ALMA Cycle Proposer's Guide [1]. The technical justification is entered directly into the OT via a designated Technical Justification pane for each Science Goal. Any figures...
The Largest Angular Structure (LAS) of a source corresponds to the largest coherent structure in a source that needs to be imaged. This is a very important parameter for an interferometer as the shortest baselines set a limit on the largest scale that ...
You can download the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) from the Science Portal. Click on the "Proposing" menu on the left panel of the Science Portal, and that will reveal a drop-down menu, with a link to the ALMA OT. Alternatively, you can go directly to the Obs...
The OT does not allow users to specify a minimum angular resolution (i.e. restrict the range of angular resolutions such that a source will definitely be unresolved) because this considerably narrows the range of configurations that can be used, and co...
The Observing Tool (OT) time estimate has two minimum times: a minimum of 10 seconds per pointing, and a minimum of 2 minutes for all sources in a Science Goal, as described in OT Users Manual, available from the Science Portal under 'Documents & Tools...
The OT total time estimate does not scale linearly with the theoretical "time on source". For short observations, this is because there are some minimum times imposed (see KB article \"Why does the OT time estimate stop decreasing as I ask for progress...
If the "Enabled privileged operations" checkbox is ticked in the "Advanced" tab of File->Preferences, the OT will prompt for a username and password every time the OT is started and, upon failure, report that this option is being disabled. "Privileged ope...
Data from the correlator, together with monitor and weather data, are sent via dedicated optical fiber links (1-10 Gbit/s) to the OSF, where they are archived. A peak data rate of 66.6 MB/s can be sustained for short periods of time, i.e. days. This pe...
Oracle just released a Java update (8u141) and people are being automatically prompted to install this. Unfortunately, this update contained a bug which prevented the Web Start OT from working. The release notes of the Java update are given here - s...