28 December, 2018
A new observing cycle is approaching at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and the key dates, specifications, and new capabilities have been pre-announced to the community. 4,300 hours will be available for science observations on the 12m Array, which is the largest amount of time offered so far. Cycle 7 observations will take place between October 2019 and September 2020. The Call for Proposal will be open from March 19, 2019, to April 17, 2019.
ALMA is reaching a new record offering the community the most generous quantity of time to date to observe the Universe in a given cycle. Observatory Scientist John Carpenter explains that this 7.5% increase in the offered time “is an important milestone for ALMA since we are offering the minimum amount of time required in full operations for the first time.” In addition to the 12-m array, Cycle 7 will offer 3000 hours of time with the Atacama Compact Array (ACA), also known as the Morita Array.
In Cycle 7, ALMA will also have a Supplemental Call for Proposals process for the compact array, aimed at maximizing the scientific output of the ACA by allowing more timely science to be proposed since it will follow the Main Call by five months. At least 750 extra hours will be allocated in this call that will have a new proposal review process. Proposals submitted to the Supplemental Call will be peer reviewed through a distributed system, in which the Principal Investigator of each submitted proposal, or a designated reviewer selected from among the co-Is of the proposal, will be responsible for reviewing ten proposals submitted in the same call.
The Cycle 7 Supplemental Call represents a pilot program for distributed peer review in ALMA, and the observatory plan to learn from the experience and gather feedback from the community before considering using the system in future cycles.
More detailed information on the Cycle 7 pre-announcement can be found here:
ALMA is a partnership between ESO (on behalf of its European Member States), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan); together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ.