Joint Observations with SOFIA

This agreement is only between the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and SOFIA. It does not apply to any of the NRAO instruments: VLA, VLBA, ALMA.

By agreement between the GBO and the URSA, SOFIA will be able to award time on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to highly ranked proposals that request time on both SOFIA and the GBT. GBO has offered up to 5% of the available open skies time on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) for allocation by the SOFIA Time Allocation Committee (TAC).

In return, URSA has offered up to 3% of the U.S. Guest Observer time on SOFIA for allocation by the GBO TAC. Joint SOFIA/GBT proposals should be submitted to the observatory that represents the primary science facility, not to both observatories.

SOFIA as Primary Observatory: GBO observing time awarded through the SOFIA cycle 9 review process will nominally be implemented during the 2021A and 2021B observing semesters. The award of time on the GBT will be subject to approval by the GBO Director, after nominal review by the GBO TAC to avoid duplication of programs. The important additional criterion for the award of GBT time is that both SOFIA and the radio data are required to meet the science goals of the project. It is not essential that the project requires simultaneous GBT and SOFIA observations. Under this agreement, GBT time will only be awarded in conjunction with new SOFIA observations.

Of the GBT time available no more than 25 percent can be for programs requiring observations at frequencies >18 GHz, and no more than half can be for observations in the LST range of 15 – 21 hours. Funding will be based solely on SOFIA time allocation.

GBT as Primary Observatory: SOFIA time awarded through the GBO TAC will be implemented during the course of SOFIA Cycle 9, nominally July 6, 2021 through March 31, 2022. Proposals submitted to the GBO requesting SOFIA time must indicate that the proposal is joint with SOFIA and must specify the number of hours requested. The important additional criterion for the award of SOFIA time is that both SOFIA and radio data are required to meet the science goals of the project. It is not essential that the project requires simultaneous GBT and SOFIA observations.

Successful proposers will submit Phase II SOFIA proposals at the standard Phase II deadline. Funding will be available to US investigators to support SOFIA data reduction; budgets should be submitted at the standard deadline.

Proposers must always check whether appropriate archival data exist, and provide clear scientific and technical justification for any new observations of previously observed targets. Observations awarded time that duplicate observations already approved by SOFIA or GBO for the same time period may be canceled, or data sharing and cooperation among different groups may be necessary, as determined by the two observatories. This includes triggered proposals with similar trigger criteria, with or without previously known coordinates.

All scientific data from the GBT have a proprietary period during which the data are reserved for the exclusive use of the observing team. The GBT data archive policy and proprietary periods are online, and apply to data taken through the joint SOFIA-GBT program.