Regular operations as a common user instrument

The type of operation of the WSRT was that of a common-user instrument from the very beginning:

- Scientific proposals are screened by a Programme Committee.

- Accepted proposals are then scheduled by the staff of the telescope in such a way that the available time is used optimally. Observing one field often requires more than one period of 12 hours observing, with different positions of the movable telescopes. So the completion of a project may take several weeks.

- Acceptance of a project implies that the project will be completed properly: observations that fail because of instrumental or external problems will be repeated.

- Standard calibration is, in principle, carried out by staff of the NFRA. In the early days this was done in Leiden at the University computer, later in Dwingeloo. When self-calibration became a reliable technique, the scientists started doing much of it themselves. But even now, in 1995, the scientist still has the option to receive the data fully calibrated in the standard way.

- Producing a sky map and analysis of the map are the responsibility of the scientist. For many years staff of the NFRA assisted in the job of making maps, etc. Obviously this changed later, when more powerful computers were more widely distributed.

Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2020 ASTRON