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7m Array Supplemental Call

Supplemental Call for Proposals to use the 7-m Array in Cycle 4


The ALMA Director announces that the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will accept observing proposals that request to use the 7-m Array in the remainder of Cycle 4, which ends on September 30, 2017. This proposal call enables the community to propose projects that will fill in undersubscribed regions of the observing queue for the 7-m Array. Up to 800 hours on the 7-m Array will be allocated through this opportunity. 

Proposals must be compatible with the capabilities listed in the ALMA Cycle 4 Proposer's Guide, with the following restrictions:

  1. Proposals for this special call will be accepted only for the 7-m Array in stand-alone mode. Proposals that request the Total Power (TP) Array or the 12-m Array will be declined.
  2. A proposal may request up to 50 hours of observing time on the 7-m Array. We encourage large time requests within this limit.
  3. Proposals will be accepted in Bands 3, 4, 6, and 7 for any LST, except between LST of 15 h and 20 h in Bands 6 and 7. The largest amount of time available in any band is at an LST of > 22 h and < 13 h.
  4. Only proposals that request standard modes are permitted, as defined in the ALMA Cycle 4 Proposer’s Guide


Proposals can be submitted starting April 21, 2017 and will be reviewed as they are received. Instructions on how to submit a proposal through the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) are presented below. Proposals can be submitted at any time up until the end of Cycle 4 or until the available time has been fully allocated. An announcement will be posted on the ALMA Science Portal when this opportunity closes.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee that consists of representatives from the JAO, the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs), and Chile. The primary criterion in assessing the proposals is the overall scientific merit of the proposed observations. The committee will forward their scientific assessment to the ALMA Director, who will make the decision on whether the proposal shall be scheduled. Review decisions should be announced to the proposal team within 2 to 4 weeks after proposal submission.

All proposals accepted through this proposal call will receive a Grade C and will be assigned lower priority than the remaining projects in the 7-m Array queue. The proposals will not be carried forward to the next cycle if the observations are not completed during Cycle 4.

The data will be quality assessed by ALMA staff before being delivered to the Principal Investigator (PI) or their designee. Data will be considered to have passed the quality assessment if the requested on-source integration time has been achieved, as long as no significant technical problems are found during data reduction.

PIs are reminded that since the 7-m Array observations will be obtained with ~10 antennas, the instantaneous uv coverage is limited. Therefore, the 7-m Array should not be used for snapshot surveys of complex sources. Also, the 7-m Array can be shadowed below 55 degrees elevation, with ~2 antennas shadowed when the elevation drops to 45 degrees. This affects the effective number of antennas at extreme north and south declinations and may be a consideration for projects requiring lengthy integration. Proposals should justify any observations affected by these constraints. 

PIs may submit a 7-m Array proposal in response to this call that duplicates their Cycle 5 proposal, in which case the Cycle 5 proposal will be treated as a resubmission. If the Cycle 4 proposal is approved and completed, the corresponding Cycle 5 Science Goals will be descoped.


Instructions to submit a proposal

Proposals in response to this call can be submitted as follows:

  1. Proposals must be submitted using the updated Cycle 4 ALMA Observing Tool (OT) using either the Webstart or Tarball links below. If you have previously installed the Cycle 4 Webstart version of OT, upon startup it will automatically download the latest version. Note that the Cycle 5 OT cannot be used to submit proposals for this Supplemental Call. When starting the OT, “Cycle4SupplementalCall” will appear on the GUI toolbar at the top of the window.



  1. When preparing a proposal, select "Regular" or "Target of Opportunity" as appropriate for the proposal type in the OT.
  2. Upload the scientific justification, specify the correlator setup, and prepare the technical justification as for normal proposal submissions. Note that the OT does not validate the restrictions on LST, receiver bands, and array types mentioned above. Users are responsible for verifying these requirements.
  3. After the proposal is submitted, the proposal team will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt of the proposal.
  4. Within 2-4 weeks, the proposal team will be notified of the results. PIs whose projects have been awarded time will be contacted by a Contact Scientist to set up Phase 2 and approve it.


Status of Supplemental Call

06 April 2017 – First announcement posted

21 April 2017 – Opening of the Archive for proposal submission



OT Cycle 4 Supplemental Call Web Start download:


Click logo to start.

Click the OT Logo to start the OT. If the OT has not been downloaded before, or if an update has been released, a download window will appear. For first-time users, after the download has completed, you may (depending on your operating system) be given the option to create a shortcut, or one will be created automatically for you, usually on the desktop. Future use of the OT can then most conveniently be started by double-clicking the shortcut. Even if a shortcut is not created, the OT will have been downloaded into the Web Start cache and can be started from the Java Cache Viewer (accessible using 'javaws -viewer' or from Java Preferences on a Mac).


  • The Web Start will automatically detect if an update to the installed version of the OT has been released and will automatically download it.
  • If a network connection is not available, the Web Start version will still work, but will obviously not be able to update itself or use the OT's external services such as the user database, online spectral line search, etc.



OT Cycle 4 Supplemental Call Tarball download:


The tarball version of the OT is not the recommended way of using the OT and should usually only be used if it proves impossible to get the Web Start version working. The installation instructions for the tarball version are:

1. Download the tarball in your preferred format:


2. Unpack the tarball (it will unpack into its own directory).

3. Run post-installation setup

  • Linux or Mac OS:

    cd ALMAOT-CycleXXX/setup 
    cd ..

  • MS Windows

-> Go to the ALMAOT-CycleXXX/setup directory

-> Double click "Setup-Windows" (may read "Setup-Windows.cmd")

-> Go to the ALMAOT-CycleXXX directory

4. Start up the OT

  • Linux or Mac OS:


  • MS Windows

Double-click "ALMA-OT" (might read "ALMA-OT.cmd")