The New Mopra Operating Model

This page outlines the new Operating model for Mopra, from 1 October 2012.

The Mopra call for Expressions of Interest, released on 18 November 2011, solicited interest in operating the Mopra 22m radio-telescope beyond October 2012. As a result of this process, from October 2012, NAOJ and a UNSW-led consortium will fund a share of the annual costs in return for their own observing time.

In 2012/13 a total of 20 weeks will be allocated in the millimetre season to these contributing organisations. In addition, eight weeks of "ATNF time" will be allocated to observations by CSIRO in recognition of its investment in the telescope, and 2 weeks to maintenance. Observing time will not generally be available outside the millimetre season with the exception of LBA time.

Mopra projects conducted by the contributing organisations will not be reviewed by the ATNF Time Assignment Committee.

In the first year of the agreement, CASS intends to allocate the ATNF time (in the millimetre season) to complete the MALT-90 Legacy Project. This project has a rapid data policy, and has received ongoing review from the TAC. Time outside this LST range may be applied for by experienced Mopra observing teams (as only limited observing support is able to be provided).

In subsequent years, CASS intends to solicit additional proposals for millimetre observations in the ATNF time. Given limited support resources, it is likely that only a limited number of projects that can be largely supported by the observing team will be selected. CASS will be seeking additional projects of legacy value. Projects will be selected based on scientific merit and after review by the ATNF Time Allocation Committee.

Observing time for Mopra as part of the LBA will be allocated using existing ATNF procedures.

Any critical problem related to site power, network connectivity, cryogenic or drive failures, should be raised with the Narrabri Observatory Site Manager during work hours (8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday) or the Narrabri Observatory Duty Astronomer at other hours. Other problems, which may stop observing but which don't endanger the telescope, should be reported to mopra-sciops [at] and will be dealt with as soon as possible, i.e., usually next business day. The routine science operations support that will be provided at this level of funding is to ensure that key computers, software and scripts remain operational, and that appropriate disk-space is kept free for data, that data are archived as per standard practice, and that appropriate documentation is maintained.

Engineering operations support will ensure the telescope hardware and electronics is maintained to current levels. Issues requiring attention outside the allocated maintenance periods will be addressed on a best-efforts basis.

Data taken with the Mopra telescope will be archived in the Australia Telescope Online Archive (ATOA). Access to this data will be normally restricted to the contributing organisations for a period of 18 months from the date of observations. After the agreed restricted access period the data will become publically available. Science teams will normally access their data directly during the observations, or through downloads from the ATOA.

The contributing organisations will be required to avoid duplicating observations that were approved by the ATNF Time Assignment Committee and that are still within their 18 month proprietary period. A list of these observations will be provided by ATNF. Contributing organisations will be encouraged to ensure telescope time is effectively used by ensuring there is no unnecessary duplication of observations.

In recognition of the funding provided by the contributing organisations, all papers resulting from data taken during this funding period will be requested to include the sentence "Operation of the Mopra radio telescope is made possible by funding from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the University of New South Wales, the University of Adelaide, and the Commonwealth of Australia through CSIRO."