Observing with ATNF Telescopes

Astronomers from Australia and overseas are invited to apply for observing time on Australia Telescope National Facility telescopes. Observing time is awarded by a Time Assignment Committee on the basis of the merits of the proposed research. Please note that the ATNF does not employ telescope operators and observers are required to carry out their approved observations.

OPAL: All telescope applications to the ATNF must be prepared and submitted using OPAL . OPAL is a web-based application system for all ATNF telescope facilities.

ATOA: The Australia Telescope Online Archive (ATOA) provides access to the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Mopra archive data files.

Director's time: Telescope time that is unallocated when the 6-month observing schedules for the semester are released can be requested as Director's time (sometimes referred to as "green time", as that's how it appears in the graphical version of the schedules).

Target of Opportunity time: Target of Opportunity proposals can be submitted at any time for observations of a time-critical nature. Proposals that are not time critical should be submitted through the regular TAC process when possible, rather than relying on applications for Director's time or Target of Opportunity time.

Observers are requested to acknowledge the ATNF in any publications resulting from use of the ATNF facilities, or data archives. See Publications and Acknowledgments

For further information see the current status of the ATNF telescopes and see also the revised ATNF Support Model which will be in effect from April 2023 (2023APR semester) onward, replacing the previous ATNF Support Model which is still in effect through March 2023 (concluding at the end of the 2022OCT semester).

Information about the ATCA Legacy Projects is also available.


Application deadlines and observing terms

Observing Semester Closing Date
for Applications
Semester Duration
Time Assignment
OCT (OCTS) around Jun 15 Oct 01 - Mar 31 July
APRIL (APRS) around Dec 15 Apr 01 - Sep 30 Feb

Telescope applications may be submitted for the following facilities: