Today, as of January 18, we have observed 14 out of 22 A-rated and 39 B-rated observing requests, and only 2 have been considered as successfully completed. Unusual temperatures, high winds and large amounts of snow, have indeed caused a considerable delay in the observations: the interferometer efficiency was averaging about 15% in November and December, less than half of the efficiency in the year before, and a substantial fraction of the time was still not good enough for observations at 1.3mm.
As far as A-rated projects are concerned, we look forward to bring these to completion in the current winter semester, but a drastic improvement in the weather conditions is now necessary if we wish to get through all the A-rated projects. IRAM will contact the PIs of projects that will not get their full observing time. B-rated projects are likely to be observed only if they fall in a favorable LST range.
To improve on the scheduling efficiency, the configuration schedule of the interferometer was adjusted to the requirements of A-rated projects. The interferometer was finally moved to the C configuration at the beginning of December and to the B configuration by the middle of January. Depending on the weather conditions, we plan to move in the first two weeks of February to the A configuration - the most extended six antenna configuration - and to switch the interferometer to the D configuration - the most compact - still before the end of March. According to this plan, projects aiming at deep integrations and low-resolution mapping in the D configuration will not be completed before mid April.
We will do our best to keep investigators informed about the execution of their projects all along the winter period. Investigators who wish to check the status of their project, may consult the interferometer schedule on the web at http://www.iram.fr/IRAMFR/PDB/ongoing.html. The page is updated twice a day.