These accidents have an important impact on the short-term exploitation of the observatory, and also in the medium-term. For the time being, a team of four volunteers is present on the site, working on a weekly basis and providing for emergencies and the safety of the installations. When the observations will eventually be restarted, we will have to increase the staff on the site.
Despite these serious problems we hope to complete the construction of the sixth antenna before the end of summer. On the other hand, we will defer the extension of the northern track to the next year at the earliest, because it requires a much larger team to be present on the Plateau de Bure than for all the other activities. We hope we will soon be able to give you more detailed information on these developments which should help to establish a high level of productivity of the Plateau de Bure Interferometer for many years to come.
The current stop of the observations will have severe consequences for the remaining programmes of the winter session:
The interferometer will stay in the D configuration, and we plan only very limited observations. Observing time, if available at all, will be used to complete programmes already started and which need only D data to achieve their scientific goals.
All other programmes, including A-rated programmes, will have to be resubmitted either for this summer session, if their goals can be achieved in the D configuration (see the next Section), or for the next winter session.