Parabolic Dish

Call for Proposals


General Guidelines

1. Observing with our telescopes

In the present resource framework, service observations can be offered for VLBI programs run outside the framework of INAF international agreements (EVN, eVLBI, RadioAstron, etc.), under specific conditions (see section 3). Single-dish programs submitted to, and approved by the TAC will be run in guest mode. For the SRT and Noto the PI is asked to guarantee the presence of a member of the proponent team at the telescope when observations are scheduled. Remote observing is available at the Medicina antenna. In the future it is planned to extend this observing mode also to the Noto antenna and to the SRT. Proper training and assistance are provided to novice users.

The Italian antennas of Medicina, Noto, and SRT are equipped with a common control software - developed in the framework of the DISCOS project - allowing optimised single-dish observations.

2. Which antenna(s) to use?

The three antennas form a single coordinated facility; users can submit a single proposal to request time either on one or more telescopes.
Proposers are asked to justify the choice of a specific antenna over the others (sensitivity issues, available receivers, etc.).
Simultaneous single-dish observations are possible, as much as interferometric projects involving two or more Italian antennas (and, if needed, international facilities).

Notably, the proposal form now contains an additional section in which the authors declare whether their program is suitable for possible re-allocation to one of the other antennas, in case the preferred one is unavailable - e.g because higher-rank programs are filling the schedule or unexpected technical issues arise. If such an option is chosen, the proposers are requested to specify the increase (or reduction) in observing time for each target that is needed to obtain the original scientific goals. This provides the projects with more opportunities: if re-allocation is acceptable to the proposers, the TAC could suggest to move the program to another antenna, under the obvious constraint that the expected scientific aims have to be matched.

3. Italian VLBI and non-EVN interferometric projects

This call includes VLBI observations being requested outside the EVN or IVS coordination. VLBI observers must take care of organizing the availability of international telescopes if needed by their observations. They are also required to arrange the storage and correlation of their data. Correlation time and disk space (also for VLBI experiments to be correlated elsewhere) can be provided for Medicina and Noto; PIs are invited to contact us prior to submission, in order to assess the availability of these services - and the availability of operators - for their specific needs. Please note that, if granted antenna time, proposers will be in charge of producing the schedule files for their observations.

4. Recovery of lost observing time

The recovering of observing time lost for weather-related downtime or technical failures cannot be granted by default. Observers are required to fill in the end-of-mission report, indicating the amount of lost time and its causes, for future evalutation and possible allocation of recovery time within the same observing semester. 
For recovery time requests, PIs must send an e-mail to the Directors (in CC to the RDO and schedulers) of the involved facilities.
Observing time of a scheduled project lost because of the override of ToO or NAPA observations (see offered programs) will be rescheduled on a best–effort basis.

5. MoU and LoIs policy

INAF requires that proposers who mention Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or Letter of Intents (LoIs) in support of their proposals provide the TAC with a copy of such MoUs or LoIs. In particular, these formal agreements must already be active when the Call for Proposals is issued, and copies of the documents must be submitted to the TAC Chair along with the standard proposal form.

Three types of MoUs are expected to be involved:
  1. those between groups, or groups and other Institutes
  2. those between groups and INAF
  3. those between INAF and other Institutes


According to the MoA between INAF and KASI up to 30 hours of observing time in VLBI mode are allocated to approved EATING VLBI projects. These projects have to be submitted both to the Italian and Korean TACs with the standard form selecting "EATING VLBI" mode in the project type. Approved projects will be observed up to 30 hours/semester. Projects exceeding 30 hours will be scheduled together with all other projects according to their relative grades. PIs of these proposals must be associated with INAF or KASI.

7. Proprietary time

For standard, large, NAPA and ToO proposals a proprietary time of 1 year applies, starting from the acquisition date. A longer period may be requested for long (multi-term) projects and legacy projects. In these cases, the PI must specify the requested period and justify it within the proposal providing scientific motivations. The TAC will decide whether to accept the requested extensions to the standard duration of the proprietary period.

8. Disclosure of proposal information

When a proposal is approved, basic information regarding it will be published online. In particular, the following data will be made publicly available: project ID, Principal Investigator, PI affiliation, proposal title, awarded hours, project type (regular, NAPA, long, large), requested telescope(s) (SRT, Medicina, Noto). By submitting a proposal, PIs implicitly accept this policy.