e-MERLIN requests proposals from the international astronomical community for observations to be made during Cycle-3. Proposals are competitively peer-reviewed under standard STFC rules by the PATT e-MERLIN Time Allocation Committee. Allocation will be made on the basis of scientific merit and technical feasibility alone. During the first 5 semesters of e-MERLIN operations ~50% of observing time has been allocated to 12 large legacy projects and most of the remaining time will be allocated via PATT to standard proposals solicited prior to each observing semester.

e-MERLIN provides high resolution (40-150mas) and high sensitivity (~[7]-14 µJy [Inc Lovell Telescope] in Cycle-3) imaging at cm wavelengths as well as polarimetry, spectroscopy and astrometry. Cycle-3 observations will commence in September 2015.

Developments during Cycle-3: Following final testing and commissioning, the introduction of the full 2 GHz bandwidth at C-Band is scheduled for delivery during the cycle-3 observing period. PATT observations made after this development may benefit from this extra bandwidth once it becomes available, however, this will be offered initially on a shared-risk basis. All proposals should be justified assuming the current available bandwidth of 512MHz.

e-MERLIN Cycle-3 observations : September 2015 - January 2016   -   Deadline for Receipt of Proposals - 23:59:59 UT on 30th April 2015
Please note revised deadline.

L-Band: 1.23GHz to 1.74GHz
C-Band: 4.5GHz to 7.5GHz


  • Commencing in Summer 2015, The University of Manchester is undertaking a 15 Million pounds work programme on the Lovell Telescope. As such during this e-MERLIN cycle there will be a limited availability of up to 10 days of the Lovell telescope for the inclusion within e-MERLIN PATT observations at L and C-band. Proposers must make a detailed case for the inclusion of the Lovell telescope in their proposed observations.
  • During Cycle 3, e-MERLIN C-band operations utilising bandwidths wider than 512MHz will be on a best-efforts basis and no programmes are guaranteed. Proposals should assume 512MHz observing bandwidth. However, PIs of allocated proposals which may benefit from these enhanced capabilities will be informed and given the option to use these capabilities. 
  • Please note that K-Band observations and rapid frequency flexibility between L- and C-Band will not be available during Cycle-3.
  • Proposers should consult the allocated e-MERLIN Legacy programme to avoid conflicts (see notes below). In cases where PATT proposals directly replicate portions of allocated legacy projects, legacy projects will normally be given priority.
  • During Cycle-3 there is one VLBI session. Simultaneous joint VLBI+e-MERLIN observations cannot be guaranteed although every effort will be made to provide simultaneous or contemporaneous matching e-MERLIN observations for joint programmes. EVN proposals should be submitted to the EVN Programme Committee - details for proposing for EVN time can be found here: http://www.evlbi.org/proposals/prop.html


The system parameters for observation of a continuum source in optimum conditions are:-

                                                        1.23-1.74 GHz    4.3-7.5 GHz 
                                                           (L-band)           (C-band)

Maximum angular resolution                   ~150                  ~40            (milliarcsec)

RMS level for 12 hr on source                  ~14/7**             ~13/7**      (µJy/bm)

Maximum bandwidth/polarization               512                   512            (MHz)

More extensive technical details are available at http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/observe/cycle3.html.
Proposals should be submitted via the e-MERLIN Web-based Proposal Tool. http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/observe/northstar.html

See notes below:


  • Across L-and RFI within the primary band will result in a proportion of the band being un-useable. From typical observations between RFI results in 10-15% of the available bandwidth being un-recoverable.
  • ** The use of the Lovell telescope at L-Band, and at C-Band with the new receiver systems reduces the 12 hour rms noise level in the central part of the field of view by ~50% compared with the array not including the Lovell Telescope.
  • Frequency switching: Due to engineering commitments in cycle-3, rapid cycling between L- and C-Band will not be permitted. Within C-Band, frequency changes on time-scales of >2 hour will be possible. However, proposers should note that such programmes (e.g. cycling between observing bands 4.5-5.0GHz and 6.5-7.0GHz within a single observing run) will result in significant additional calibration overheads. Proposals with frequency changes faster than once every 2hrs will not be permitted.
  • Nominal sensitivities are based upon a 12-hr on target observation (~18-hr equivalent with calibration). All quoted sensitivities are for ideal conditions. During cycle-3 projected sensitivities are subject to changes due to on-going commissioning activities and cannot be guaranteed.
  • Details of available spectral line configurations are available at http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/observe/cycle3.html
  • Proposers should take careful note of the observations allocated to the e-MERLIN Legacy groups (see http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/legacy/). The e-MERLIN Legacy programmes will run concurrently with PATT observations from cycle-3. In cases where PATT proposals directly replicate portions of allocated Legacy projects, Legacy projects will normally be given priority. All e-MERLIN Legacy proposal are available at http://www.e-merlin.ac.uk/legacy/. Proposers requiring further information should contact emerlin [at] jb [dot] man [dot] ac [dot] uk for clarification well in advance of proposal submission.
  • Access to e-MERLIN for Scientists from EU Countries: e-MERLIN is one of the participating institutes in the RadioNet project from which transnational access (TNA) within the EU to existing observing facilities is financially supported. TNA support envisaged for the RadioNet3 provision includes travel reimbursement for data reduction visits to the e-MERLIN support facility in JBCA Manchester for TNA-enabled programmes. Please note that due to the end date of the RadioNet3 programme, any TNA financial assistance must be claimed and processed before the end of 2015.


e-MERLIN/VLBI National Facility, The University of Manchester,
Jodrell Bank Observatory,
Cheshire SK11 9DL,
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1477 571321,
Facsimile: +44 (0)1477 571618,
Email: emerlin [at] jb [dot] man [dot] ac [dot] uk

Drupal development: Qrios   © copyright 2019 Radionet