ALMA Matters


From/de Gerald Schieven
(Cassiopeia – Autumn/l’automne 2017)

Cycle 5 Proposal Statistics

Observations for Cycle 5 begin October 1, 2017. A record 1661 proposals were submitted for Cycle 5 requesting almost 16,000 hours of 12-m Array time and more than 14,000 hours of ACA time. With approximately 7000 hours of available time (4000 for the 12-m Array), this yields an overall oversubscription rate of 4.3, similar to previous cycles. Thirty-nine proposals were submitted by Canadian PIs, which fared extraordinarily well in Cycle 5; nearly 10% of the 12-m Array time allocated to North American proposals had a PI or co-PI from a Canadian institution. Including both 12-m Array and ACA allocations, the fraction was over 24% of North American time.

Snow Impacts Cycle 4

The ALMA Observatory experienced back to back severe winter storms in May/June, making it difficult to recover the 12-m array for PI observations. This has had an even more detrimental impact on the relocation to long baselines. Many roads were blocked with 2 meters of snow, high winds often returned snow to the cleared locations, and snow often compacted into ice covering antenna pads. By early July ALMA had returned to routine observations utilizing the 7-m and Total Power Arrays, and 12-m Array PI observations resumed later in the month. By August long baseline observations had begun, though the largest configurations were further delayed to September due to a damaged power cable on the south arm.

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