Good news! The weather reports for Western Europe and the Plateau de Bure could not have been better for the last winter period. Due to excellent observing conditions from January to April, the observatory has brought to completion almost every A-rated project before the end of the winter period. We have also invested observing time on many B projects, and even on a few targets of opportunity. Since last December, a total of 59 different projects has successfully been scheduled for observations. Concerning projects that have been started shortly before the end of the winter period, we plan to bring these to completion in the next few months.
Not only that the observing efficiency of the interferometer has been higher than in previous years, the quality of the data has also been very high. The scheduling of the A configuration, which has been available again for the first time since the winter 1998/1999, and the extended bandwidth capabilities of the six antenna correlator have been beneficial for a good number of projects.
Finally, we would like to remind users of the Plateau de Bure Interferometer that B-rated proposals which were not started have to be resubmitted again. The daily status of all ongoing projects is accessible on the Internet (URL: ./IRAMFR/PDB/project.html).
According to current plans, construction work on the northern track extension should be resumed in August when the ``blondin'' will become available, and will hopefully be completed in time for the winter 2003/2004 scheduling period. Redesign work was started early this year to modify the current set of AB configurations in view of the extension of the northern track from station N29 to N46, and should achieve completion before the end of the summer. The new configurations should significantly improve the mapping of medium and low declination sources. Further details will be given in the next issue of the Newsletter.