Parabolic Dish

Offered Programs

Ordinary Programs

The offered observing program types are:

1. Guest projects

Guest projects are standard programs requiring less than 200 hours and lasting only one term (1 semester).

2. Large projects

Large projects (LPs) are proposals that require significant amounts of telescope time (see details below) justified by the potential scientific payoff. The exact amount of time available for LPs may be limited depending on proposal pressure and/or requested observing frequency. LPs are defined as those that obey the following rules:

     • the proposed projects should address high-quality and high-impact science that requires significant observing efforts;
     • the observations should utilize the core strength of the requested facility;
     • LPs should be projects that cannot be realized (or only with difficulties) with standard observing proposals, i.e. projects requiring
        particularly high observing time, on one or more of the INAF radio telescopes.

A large proposal is defined according to different constraints, depending on the number of terms it spans. If the proposal is multi-term, it is also a long proposal (see section 3).

Large sigle term
A single-term project is defined as large when at least one of the antennas is required for more than 200 hours, regardless of the observing mode (single-dish or interferometry).

Large multi-term (long + large)
A multi-term (long) project is additionally defined as large in the following cases:
- for single-dish observations, when the total amount of requested hours (whole project) is >600 hours;
- for interferometry observations, when the per-telescope average amount of requested hours (whole project) is >600 hours.

LPs proposals should be submitted at the same deadline and using the same proposal form as for other proposals, but will be allowed a more extensive justification (up to 10 pages, including figures, tables, and all the additional information required for an LP) including details on the following aspects:

     • Scientific background;
     • Observing procedure;
     • Data reduction and analysis plan;
     • Data release policy;
     • Publication strategy;
     • It is expected that the final data products (e.g., reduced maps or cubes, source catalogs, etc...) will be made publicly available
        to the community along with the publication of the major goal results of the project. A data release plan shall also be included
        in the proposal.
     • An outreach plan and a commitment to disseminate the project results to the general public will be an additional asset.

The proposal for a LP will be evaluated and ranked by the TAC as part of the normal proposal review process. Since it is expected that LPs will commit a large fraction of observational and scheduling resources, large proposals require very high ranking to be allocated.
INAF expects periodic progress reports and a quick publication/release of the data and data products, and reserves the right to revisit allocations made to a given LP if insufficient progress is reported. To facilitate the access to data products by the wider community, each approved LP must create an accessible web link of the project.

3. Long (multi-term) projects

Long projects are programs that require allocation over more than one term (semester). They can be of diverse nature (monitoring of sources, large projects that cannot be reasonably conducted in one term, scheduling constraints due to simultaneous observations with other telescopes, etc.). Please note that, according to the amount of requested time, your long project might also fall in the large category (becoming large+long; see section above for details).
It is up to the TAC to evaluate the real need of the multi-term condition. Even in case of recognized need of multi-term observations, the TAC is free to decide whether to grant a long-term project status.
PIs are requested to indicate the overall duration of the project, in terms of number of semesters needed. If the long-term status is granted, the PIs are asked to: i) submit a light update, containing only the time request and the observations table, six months after the approval/confirmation of the long project status; ii) submit a fully-updated proposal, that includes a progress status report, after one year from the approval/confirmation of the long project status, in order for the TAC to evaluate whether the long-term status can be further granted.
Please notice: users proposing a long project are invited to store the Modifier ID they receive after the submission. It will be required to submit the update(s) if the long status is confirmed. Light updates do not require the use of any template. Fully-updated proposals, instead, must be produced using the proposal template.
In the submission web form, It is not necessary to fill in again all the general info/settings: only the bottom part ("Submit") of the page is to be used. 

4. NAPA projects

NAPA (Non A-Priori Assignable) are single-term (i.e. incompatible with the "long project" type) proposals recommended for targets, or class of objects for which there is a high chance, in a statistical sense, to foresee the occurrence of a peculiar event that triggers the observations. In particular, two main sub-categories can be identified within this type of ’triggered’ proposals:

i) those proposals targeting a well defined list of targets, with names and coordinates

ii) those proposals targeting a class of objects, for which no coordinates can a priori be provided

For both categories a very stringent trigger criterion (or set of criteria) has to be provided by the proposers. For the second category, a potential risk of preempting a class of sources exists and has to be confidently avoided. The scientific justification has to explicitly report the frequency of occurrence expected for the triggering event(s), the maximum number of events requested to be observed, and the corresponding maximum amount of total observing time requested. In this category should also fall projects that are part of MoUs (in such a case, a copy of the MoU has to be provided to the TAC along with the proposal (see general guidelines).

5. Target Of Opportunity

Target of Opportunity (ToO) projects should target:

a) unforeseeable objects/events that requires an extremely prompt scheduling of the observations (and not fitting the NAPA category)


b) urgent observations (asking a limited amount time) motivated by new discoveries of extremely high scientific potential

A proposal for a ToO has to demonstrate the exceptionally of the proposed target and an extremely high scientific impact. In addition, the
justification has to clearly spell out the reasons for having proposed outside the regular call for proposals, as well as the urgency to be scheduled on very short time. ToO proposals will be evaluated by the TAC in contact with the Officer-in-Charge/scheduler of the facility(ies) requested, for possible scheduling issues.

Special Programs

1. Director's Discretionary Time

Users can exceptionally apply for Director Discretionary Time (DDT). This is a flexible and limited time at the disposal of the Directors of the institutes hosting the telescopes.
This time can be exploited for unforeseeable needs, such as extra maintenance, tests, recover time, instruments development and also for feasibility tests and short-time scientific measurements. DDT projects can involve one or more of the Italian antennas, together with other facilities.
Notably, a DDT proposal must explicitly report the reason why a regular proposal (e.g. ToO, NAPA, guest) was not submitted instead.
Indeed, whenever possible, proposers are strongly encouraged to submit their proposals within the appropriate submission deadlines.
For recovery time requests, it is not necessary to submit a DDT proposal: PIs are requested to submit a post-observation report (using this form) and send an e-mail to the Directors (in CC to the RDO and schedulers) of the involved facilities.
Normally, DDT observations have lower priority with respect to TAC-approved programs.

2. Legacy projects

INAF may also promote Legacy projects. These are very large projects (1000 hours or more) addressing broad scientific goals that are of interest for the scientific community at large, and that can be conducted to the benefit of the entire community. These programs are not led by individual research groups, rather they are conducted by a dedicated team and the data products made available to the community soon after the project conclusion (or even during the project) with no proprietary time.  The need to conduct a legacy project may be raised by the INAF Scientific Director who, after consultation with the scientific community through a dedicated call, will nominate a review team (that might be the TAC itself) to perform a thorough proposal selection. Unsolicited proposals from the scientific community are also welcome.

In both cases, legacy projects should always be characterized by:

   • high level of commensality
   • rapid delivery of data products to the community
   • no proprietary time

Legacy projects have the same proposal form as that of large projects, but in addition they must be accompanied by a white paper that collects the interests of the scientific community. Each Legacy program will have a "core team", with a wide range of expertise, that is responsible of all aspects of the project: observations, data reduction and analysis, release of processed scientific products.
The legacy project description must include the same information listed above for large projects.