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Submillimeter Array (SMA) Call for Observing Proposals

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 12:40

The joint Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) − Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) Submillimeter Array (SMA) Time Allocation Committee (TAC) solicits proposals for observations for the period 16 November 2017 through 15 May 2018 (2017B semester).

The deadline for submitting proposals is Wednesday, 6 September 2017. The SMA Observer Center website is expected to open for proposal submission on 15 August 2017.

The SMA has recently completed significant upgrades in observational capability, with more under way. Currently, the SMA observes simultaneously with two orthogonally polarized receivers, one in the 230 GHz or 345 GHz band and the other in the 240 GHz or 400 GHz band (with full polarimetric observations available using the 230+240 or 345+400 band combinations). The SWARM correlator processes 8 GHz bandwidth for each receiver in each sideband, for a total of 32 GHz, at a uniform 140 kHz resolution. This 32 GHz frequency coverage can be continuous where the tuning ranges of the two orthogonally polarized receivers overlap. In short, the SMA now provides flexible, wide band frequency coverage that delivers high continuum sensitivity and excellent spectral line capabilities.

A full track offers continuum sensitivity of 200 or 500 micro-Jy (1 sigma) at 230 or 345 GHz in good weather conditions (precipitable water vapor 2.5 mm and 1.0 mm, respectively). The corresponding line sensitivities at 1 km/s resolution are 30 and 70 mJy. The small antennas allow access to low spatial frequencies in the sub-compact configuration and the finest angular resolution at 345 GHz in the very extended configuration is ~ 0.25". Thus, in some ways, the characteristics of the SMA may be both similar and complementary to those of the stand-alone Atacama Compact Array (ACA) component of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

For more information about SMA capabilities, visit the SMA Observer Center website and explore the set of SMA proposing tools.

Current and archived SMA Newsletters available online provide a sampling of the wide variety of science possible with the SMA. 

The SMA also accepts proposals on an ongoing basis for large-scale observing projects dedicated to answering major astrophysical questions having significant scientific impact. More details can be found on the SMA Observer Center webpage.

Tirupati K. Sridharan
Harvard-Smithsonian, CfA
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