From Gerald Schieven (ALMA)
(Cassiopeia – Summer 2021)
After a year (less a day) of shutdown due to the pandemic, PI science observations resumed on March 17, with at least 37 antennas in use on the 12m-Array. Observations with the Total Power array resumed shortly thereafter, and 7m-Array PI science observing resumed in early June. Because of the limited number of staff allowed at the observatory, antenna moves to the extended configurations were delayed to early June, and a series of snowstorms has further delayed the move. The plan is to move to configuration C43-7/8 as soon as possible, and to visit each long baseline configuration on a slightly compressed schedule.
Cycle 8 Proposal Submissions
Though the number of proposals submitted for Cycle 8 was down slightly from the previous two cycles (1735 compared to 1829 and 1773 for Cycles 6 and 7), the amount of time requested, over 48,000 hours, was almost 45% more than the record for any previous cycle. This is an oversubscription rate of 6.6 overall. PIs from Canadian institutions also requested a record amount of time, with an overall oversubscription rate of 6.6 (ratio of time requested to the Canadian “share” of North American time).
This was also the first cycle to use the dual anonymous peer review system, in which proposals were required to be written in such a way as not to identify the proposers in order to minimize inherent biases in the review process. In addition, all PIs (or designated co-Is) of proposals requesting under 25 hours were required to referee ten other proposals. All proposals requesting 25 or more hours, including all “large” proposals, are being reviewed by panels as was done for previous cycles. A full analysis of the success of the dual anonymous peer review system will be done once the proposal review process has completed, but early indications are that dual anonymous proposals were well received, and very few PIs failed to referee their assigned proposals. Results of the proposal review will be sent to PIs in August 2021.