Australia Telescope Time Assignment Committee

The Australia Telescope Time Assignment Committee (TAC) is advisory to the ATNF Director. The TAC members are appointed by the ATNF Steering Committee .

The TAC assesses proposals submitted for observing time with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), the Parkes radio telescope, the Mopra radio telescopes and the Long Baseline Array. Service proposals for the Tidbinbilla 70-m antenna are also assessed. Time is allocated on the basis of scientific merit.

The TAC members meet twice a year to consider telescope applications for two six-month semesters that begin in October and March. The TAC normally has nine voting members, including the Chair. In additional, a group of approximately 16 external readers review the proposals and send input to the TAC. Members and Readers serve for a period of three years. The Head of Science Operations (Phil Edwards), and the TAC Executive Officer (Jill Rathborne) also attend the TAC meetings as non-voting members. The telescope schedules are prepared after the TAC meetings by the Head of Science Operations.

TAC information and queries

After the TAC grades and comments are finalised, an email is sent to all proposers on a proposal (that have valid email addresses in OPAL) informing them that the grade and comments can be viewed in OPAL. A second email is sent a couple of weeks later to all proposers when the telescope schedules are released.

For assistance with scheduling related matters, contact the Head of Science Operations, Philip Edwards (Phil.Edwards [at]

For queries on the TAC grades or comments contact the TAC Chair, Prof. Michael Drinkwater (m.drinkwater [at]

If you wish to discuss a scientific or scheduling-related issue, after consultation with the TAC Chair and/or Head of Science Operations, please contact the ATNF Director, Lewis Ball (Lewis.Ball [at]

For some time assignment performance indicators, see the ATNF Annual Reports.

Time Assignment Policies

Time Assignment Policies

ToO and NAPA proposals The ATNF Time Assignment Committee recognises two types of proposals for which observerations need to be scheduled at short notice. These are Target of Opportunity (ToO) and Non A-priori Assignable (NAPA) proposals.
ATNF Large Projects Projects that require at least 400 hours of telescope time are in the category of large projects
Data Access ATNF data access policy and information
Director's Time Use of Director's time at the Narrabri, Mopra and Parkes observatories.
Replacing Lost Time ATNF policy for replacement of lost time.
Duty Astronomer Policy ATNF Duty Astronomer (DA) policy and other DA information.
Duty Astronomer Duties Responsibilities of DAs at the Compact Array.
Remote Observing Conditions Conditions for remote observing at the Compact Array.

TAC Members, February 2014

Voting Members
Hayley Bignall Curtin University
Steven Curran University of Sydney
Jo Dawson CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Michael Drinkwater (Chair)      University of Queensland
Alan Duffy University of Melbourne
Duncan Galloway Monash University
George Hobbs CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Gerhardt Meurer ICRAR
Emma Ryan-Weber Swinburne University
Ex-Officio Members
Douglas Bock CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Phil Edwards CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Jill Rathborne CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Administration Support
Vicki Drazenovic
CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science

Last update: 31-jan-2014 pge