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[VLA] Projects, Program Blocks, Scheduling Blocks - Knowledgebase / VLA / OPT - NRAO Science Helpdesk

[VLA] Projects, Program Blocks, Scheduling Blocks

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In the OPT we have Projects, Program Blocks, and Scheduling Blocks.

A Project (preceded by the letter 'P' on an orange background in the left hand panel) represents a successful proposal. An example of a Project name is 13B-123, where 13B indicates the proposal semester, and 123 is an assigned unique number. This replaces the 'legacy code', for example AN818 where N is the first letter of the PI's last name, and 818 a unique three or four digit number. To open the Project, click on its name. Information in each Project originates from the successful proposal itself and from input from the time allocation committee.

A Project consists of one or more Program Blocks (typically, array configurations). In the OPT, in the left hand panel, click on the + sign in front of the letter P next to a project to display that project's Program Blocks.

Click on the + sign in front of the letters PB to display that Program Block's Scheduling Blocks (SBs). A SB can only be submitted if they belong to valid Projects, i.e. Projects created by the Proposal process. Though the OPT allows creating additional projects by File -> Create New -> Project, SBs in such a project cannot be submitted.

A Scheduling Block (SB) consists of a sequence of consecutive scans, where each scan is an observation of one source using one instrument configuration for a specified time.
In the OPT, in the left hand panel, an SB is depicted by a small green icon with the letters SB in white lettering, followed by the name the observer has given it. Click on the + in front of the the letters SB to display the scans in that SB.

Every SB is assigned a unique 8-digit number, shown when hovering the cursor over the name and in 'Scheduling Details' in the right hand panel.  After the observer submits an SB and it is approved, it will enter the Dynamic Queue. If the observer needs to make changes after submission (but before observing), the SB needs to be unsubmitted first, then modified as necessary, and resubmitted. The status of the SB in the queue is not available to observers, but after it has been executed the observer will be notified by e-mail.

For more details on how to use the Observation Preparation Tool, please refer to the OPT Manual.