The selection process for projects is explained in ALMA Proposer's Guide available at the Documents and Tools Section of the ALMA Science Portal. Proposals will be assessed on the overall scientific merit of the proposed investigation and its potential contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
ALMA is scheduled dynamically, and so it is not possible to know when a given Scheduling Block will be run. At the telescope, Scheduling Blocks (SBs) are selected from a queue of SBs that match the current conditions (e.g. weather, array configuration, science target availability). Execution priority is based on the projects’ assigned priority grade and Executive balance. All other things being equal, the project with the highest scientific rank will be observed.
The 12-m Array will be arranged in several different configurations. Investigators can request a range of target angular resolutions (or a specific target angular resolution) and a specific largest angular scale for each science goal. This angular resolution range will be mapped to one or more of the 12-m Array configurations (see the ALMA Proposer's Guide and Technical Handbook available at the Documents and Tools Section of the ALMA Science Portal for more details). The scheduling software will prioritize scheduling the science goal when the array is in the best matching configuration for the request range of angular resolutions.
The anticipated configuration schedule for the 12-m Array is described in the ALMA Proposer's Guide and Technical Handbook available at the Documents and Tools Section of the ALMA Science Portal which can be referred to at proposal submission. The schedule can be updated, and it is shown in the ALMA Status Page of the ALMA Science Portal.
Observations will typically be scheduled during night/morning time in 16-20 h shifts and three days a week also during daytime, interrupted by periods of engineering, computing and commissioning activities to maintain and further develop the array.
Once Scheduling Blocks have been submitted, PIs, Co-Is, Co-PIs (and PI delegates) can follow project activity using the Snooping Project Interface (SnooPI), available off the Science Portal following the link Observing=>SnooPI, or they may contact their Contact Scientist through the Helpdesk. PIs, Co-Is, Co-PIs (and PI delegates) have the ability to sign up for email notifications through their user profile in the science portal (login, click on your name in the upper right, and select "Profile", then check the "Receive emails" button). This will send an email notification to you (and anyone you delegate) whenever a component of a project is first observed, fully observed, or successfully completed.