There are three kinds of MeerKAT observing proposals: Large Survey Projects (LSP), Open Time, and Director's Discretionary Time (DDT). Commissioning and other types of observations are often also useful for science purposes - more details can be found in the MeerKAT Telescope and Data Access Guidelines.
A call for large MeerKAT observing proposals by SARAO's predecessor SKA South Africa in 2009 resulted in 10 Large Survey Projects (LSPs, defined to require more than 1000 hours of telescope time over 5 years) being approved in 2010. In 2016, with MeerKAT in an advanced state of construction, SKA South Africa requested revised project plans from eight LSPs:
LADUMA: Looking at the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array
LSPs will be allocated up to 2/3 of the MeerKAT science time to be scheduled over a period of 5 years for projects selected competitively.
No more LSP calls are envisioned at this stage.
These projects will use approximately 28% of the observing time awarded through competitive proposals. There will be periodic calls for Open Time proposals. The following projects were accepted for the previous open calls. Please click on the links for more details.
All of the projects below have used the L-band receiver and 4k mode of the correlator.
The Galactic Center region
The region surrounding the Galactic Center has been surveyed with a variety of pointings. Long tracks have been used to cover approximately |b| < 1°, |l| < 2°; a vertical strip at approximately |b| < 20°, |l| < 1.5° has been covered with a mosaic pointing scheme that achieves 1 hour integration time per pointing spread over a range of hour angles to obtain good uv coverage. The overview paper for the long-tracks portion of the survey has been accepted for publication, and the corresponding data products are available from the SARAO repository.
The MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey
Approximately 30 radio-selected and 70 X-ray-selected galaxy clusters have been observed with long tracks. The survey overview and highlights paper has been published, along with the first data release on the SARAO repository.
The data release includes unprocessed visibilities (please read the paper for caveats), basic imaging products, enhanced imaging products and catalogues.
Both the SMC and LMC have been surveyed with a mosaic pointing scheme that achieves 1 hour integration time per pointing spread over a range of hour angles to obtain good uv coverage. Science exploitation has begun, and those potentially interested to participate should contact SARAO.
A thin strip of the Southern Galactic Plane (4th quadrant, and also portions of the 3rd and 1st: 248° < l < 61°, |b| < 1.5°) has been surveyed with a mosaic pointing scheme that achieves 1 hour integration time per pointing spread over a range of hour angles to obtain good uv coverage. Science exploitation is underway, and those potentially interested to participate should contact Sharmila Goedhart.
SARAO has surveyed a 30 deg2 region in the GAMA23 field in order to demonstrate MeerKAT's capabilities for relatively shallow and large area neutral hydrogen surveys, while demonstrating the science utility of the SDP near real-time spectral imager. This uses the L-band receiver, 32k mode of the correlator, and 1 hour per pointing.
MPIfR MeerKAT Galactic Plane survey (MMGPS)
This survey is a multi-wavelength campaign incorporating imaging, spectral line and time-domain (including pulsar search) modes commensally. The components of the survey are as follows: