Proposal feasibility checklist

This is intended as a guideline in the context of considering the feasibility of a prospective MeerKAT proposal.

PIs should consider the following questions (and as relevant some of the pertinent details should be included in the feasibility section of the proposal):


  1. Is MeerKAT the right instrument for me? Check the following:

    1. telescope specifications

    2. uv-coverage

    3. sensitivity and confusion limits

    4. dynamic range considerations

    5. RFI environment

  2. How much time do I need on my target?

  3. Do I need to increase uv-coverage by snapshot imaging?

  4. Are there specific baselines that are vital to my science?

  5. Mosaics:

    1. At which frequency do I want to optimise for uniform sensitivity?

    2. Have I taken into account the beam overlap when looking at sensitivity?

    3. Do I know how much overhead from slews will be incurred?

  6. Do I need to apply tapers that will reduce sensitivity from the classical thermal limit?

  7. Calculating overheads

    1. Do I need polarisation calibration?

    2. How well do I need my bandpass response calibrated? For bright continuum sources, the signal-to-noise ratio on the bandpass calibration solution should be at least equal to that on the target field.

  8. Widefield polarimetry: be aware that there are issues that limit polarisation performance in the upper half of each band, and past the half-power point of the primary beam, unless wide-band A-projection imaging techniques are applied.

  9. What correlator mode do I need? Be aware of the limitations on useable bandwidth for narrowband modes.

  10. Are there bright sources in my field? Where do they fall relative to the beam? Are dynamic range issues going to affect my ability to measure the flux density of a weak source?

  11. Do I really need night time observations? Why? (See also 12 below).

  12. Will solar interference impact my observations?

  13. How much disk space will I need, and do I have the required compute facilities for reduction available?

  14. Can I use the SDP pipeline products?

  15. Has my target been observed already?

    1. For how long and in which bands/correlator modes?

    2. Is the data public or when will it be? Can I approach the project PI?

    3. Could I use it instead of proposing?

  16. Does my choice of field (and science goal) clash with any of the Large Survey Projects or active SARAO Legacy Surveys or other large projects such as the MPIfR MeerKAT Galactic Plane survey (MMGPS)?

  17. If beamforming is required, have I secured support from the relevant USE teams?