Information for Radio Astronomy Proposals

Arecibo Technical Information Relevant to Proposal Preparation

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  1. Proposal policies, submission details, and a web-based cover sheet, can be found linked from the Call for Proposals website.

  2. New users should read the Guide for New Arecibo Users

  3. Other user-related information is to be found on the Astronomy webpage.

  4. Radio sources with declinations in the range -1° < Dec < +37.5° are visible from Arecibo, and can be tracked over zenith angles between 1.1° and 19.7°.

  5. Available receivers in the (frequency-agile) Gregorian Dome, their frequency coverage, typical System Temperature, Telescope Gain and current status are listed in the table of receivers.

  6. Pulsar, spectral-line, VLBI, and continuum backends are available to exploit all of these receivers. Details are available on the Radio Astronomy Backends page.
  7. The PUPPI pulsar backend provides a maximum bandwidth of 800 MHz, up to 4096 spectral channels, and 40.96 µs minimum sampling time in search mode. In addition, 20.48 µs sampling is possible in on-line folding mode. For more details, potential users can refer to the PUPPI observing and support guide. PUPPI is now available for all receivers, including those above 3 GHz.
  8. As part of their data management plan, PUPPI users should include details of how they will ensure their data is removed from the PUPPI drives in a timely manner.

  9. The 2 x 7, dual-polarization, 300-MHz bandwidth, "Mock" spectrometers are available to all ALFA users. For details see Mock Spectrometers for ALFA users.

  10. A SINGLE-PIXEL MODE for the Mock spectrometers is available. This can provide up to 1 GHz of contiguous spectral coverage. On-line pulsar folding is not yet supported. For use of the Mock spectrometers with a single-pixel receiver, see Specifics for Mock Single-Pixel mode .

  11. The WAPP spectrometer provides an 8-band, dual-polarization, single-pixel observing capability for spectral lines or pulsars. This device can be used to place 8 independent bands over a 1-GHz range, each band having up to 100-MHz bandwidth. A contiguous 680-MHz spectral coverage can be obtained after allowing for filter roll-off. For an overview of WAPP capabilities, see WAPP spectrometer information.

  12. Mk-5A and Mk-5C disc-based recorders for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) are available for use with the HSA, EVN and Global networks at all bands up to 10 GHz. Those wishing to include the ultra-high sensitivity of Arecibo in their VLBI observations should submit proposals directly to these networks rather than to Arecibo, but include justification for usage of the 305-m telescope. The maximum data recording rate at Arecibo is 2 Gbps with the Mk-5C, and 1 Gbps with the Mk-5A. eVLBI science observations with the EVN can be made up to 512 Mbps.

  13. Commissioning of the he new C-Band Wide receiver, covering the full 4–8 GHz frequency range, was delayed by Hurricane Maria. We hope it will become available for observations during 2018A. This receiver is expected to have a Tsys in the range 25–35 K and will be circularly polarized.

  14. The new C-Band Wide receiver has replaced the 6-8 GHz C-High receiver, which is no longer available for observations. The 4-6 GHz C-band receiver remains available at this time.

  15. A plan to incorporate a wider-band signal path than the current 1-GHz limit is in development, but is unlikely to be available for the 2018B semester.

  16. The SEFD of the radio astronomy receivers has been affected by Hurricane Maria, which we interpret as most likely being due to a change in the forward gain from the nominal values given on the receiver table linked above. Current gains are (approximately):
    L-band wide (1.2–1.7 GHz): ~8 K/Jy
    S-low (2–3 GHz): ~6 K/Jy
    S-high (3–4 GHz): ~6 K/Jy
    C-band (4–6 GHz): ~4 K/Jy
    X-band (8–10 GHz): ~1 K/Jy