The Arecibo telescope is a versatile instrument with multiple receivers, backend processors, and telescope scanning modes. The Arecibo L-band Feed Array (ALFA) receiver adds a new dimension to the list of permutations because it can be rotated on its central beam-axis in order to compensate for the parallactic angle rotation of the sky over the course of a signal integration. The Arecibo instrument parameters can be combined in various ways leading to numerous observing modes. Observing modes are implemented at Arecibo through the Control Interface Module for Arecibo (CIMA). With CIMA, the observer selects receiver and backend configurations, as well as telescope scanning modes. Many standard, and non-standard, telescope scanning modes are implemented in CIMA. These include "standard on", "standard on/off", "drift scan", "drift & chase", "leapfrog", and others. Frontend versatility also provides possibilities with frequency switching, such as "smart frequency switching" which was developed for Galactic ALFA observations.
experiment will have special needs, and will require some combination
of instrument setups and scanning modes which has not already been
implemented in CIMA. In this case, the observer is encouraged to submit
a proposal for a new observing mode. Proposals
for new observing modes should be attached as an appendix to the
scientific justification and submitted together with the observing
proposal. The next proposal deadline at Arecibo is Feb. 1st, and the
proposal instructions and cover sheet are available here.
Proposals for new observing modes will be evaluated by a technical review panel consisting of Arecibo technical and scientific staff. The technical feasibility will be judged, as well as the timescale for implementation. The technical review panel may reject a proposal on technical grounds, regardless of the scientific grade the proposal received. In such a case, the proposer will be invited to modify the observing requirements. This must occur before an experiment will be scheduled.
The following four
items must be included in a proposal for a new observing mode.
Proposals which are missing any of the following items will not be