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First Call for Proposals for the MWA

4 March 2013, Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, Western Australia – The first Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Call for Proposals is now open, from March 1 to May 1, 2013. The proposal template is available from http://mwatelescope.org and should be read in conjunction with the MWA Announcement of Opportunity (AO), available from the same URL.

The MWA, an SKA precursor instrument, is a next generation low frequency radio telescope, located on the pristine site of CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. This first Call covers the observing period designated 2013-B (July – December 2013). A total of 600 hours of observing time is available during this period, as detailed in the AO documentation (in the Guaranteed Time and Director’s Discretionary Time categories – note that no Open Access allocation is available in 2013-B).

As outlined in the AO, the final pre-operations briefing for potential users was held on February 25/26, following the close of the Expression of Interest stage (January/February 2013).  Notes from the pre-operations meeting, plus MWA Management Team presentations made during that meeting, are available at http://mwatelescope.org/meetings/eoi-perth-2013/

At this stage, the timeline to the commencement of MWA operations is as follows:
May 1, 2013: proposals due with MWA Director;

Mid May, 2013: MWA Time Allocation Committee (TAC) meets to assess and rank proposals, with recommendation to MWA Director;

Early June, 2013: proposal teams notified of TAC outcomes;

Mid June, 2013: proposals are scheduled for observation during 2013-B;

July, 2013: observations for 2013-B commence.

The MWA SKA precursor radio telescope, located on the radio quiet zone of Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. Credit: SKA, W. Garnier (SKA)