Visiting Astronomers Program

(Visiting astronomers call - Version 10.06.2008)

In the framework of the IRAM node of the European ALMA Regional Center (ARC), IRAM proposes a program of visiting astronomers, aimed at forming and training scientists to the millimeter-interferometry techniques.

The construction of the ALMA interferometer is already quite advanced, to the point that commissionning will be started beginning of 2009. Early Science operations are planned for 2010/2011, and it is therefore critical that the community be prepared as soon as possible to the arrival of ALMA. The large competition that can be expected to obtain observing time on ALMA makes it even more important to form and train the future European ALMA users, so that as many scientists as possible are acquainted with the science and the techniques of millimeter interferometry.

In that context, the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer provides an unique opportunity to have an easy access to a millimeter interferometer. The PdBI is currently the most powerful instrument of this kind, and will remain so until ALMA is fully operational.

IRAM proposes a Visiting Astronomers program:

  • Scientists are invited to spend long-duration periods at IRAM Grenoble. They would be associated to the scientific operations of the Plateau de Bure, within the Scientific Operations Group (SOG). Tasks under the responsibility of this group include observation planning, data quality check and pipeline calibration, instrument performances monitoring, and user face-to-face support (PIs are visiting IRAM to reduce the PdBI data). The scientists could also participate to the activities of the IRAM ARC node. Reducing PdBI data in the ALMA software (CASA) will be possible, hence providing an efficient way to test and get acquainted to that software.
  • The goal of this program is to provide a technical formation to the millimeter interferometry and data reduction techniques. Duration and details of the visit must be discussed on a case-per-case basis, but a minimal duration of several months must be considered.
  • This program is intended for PhD students, post-docs, or astronomers. Scientific collaborations with IRAM astronomers would be strongly encouraged. Note, that no guaranteed observing time can be allocated within this program.
  • IRAM would provide offices, computers, and basic support, but the salary and social benefits of the visiting astronomer shall be paid by his/her home institute. IRAM can host only a limited number of visiting astronomers simultaneously.

People interested should contact IRAM to define the details of such a collaboration. This program is coordinated by Frederic Gueth for the IRAM ARC node and Roberto Neri for the PdBI SOG.