Frequently Asked Questions

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Proposal submissions

Writing a good proposal (including the presentation of relevant previous results) need not clash with dual-anonymous reviews. The goal in this regard is to minimize the chances that the proposing team can be identified, while writing the best possible proposal.

For instance, instead of explicitly stating that some previous results were obtained by the proposing team, which now requests follow up, one could consider writing something along the following lines:

'Previous results [ref. 1] have shown X. We wish to follow up on these discoveries, to learn Y, by doing Z.' 

Reference 1 at the end of the proposal might well list the authors of the current proposal, but that need not be obvious to the reviewer. 

If there is no published reference (but the analysis of the data has reached the point where it is being used to support the request for follow up observations), then existing unpublished results can certainly be included in the proposal, but without explicit reference to the previous proposal ID/title/PI/Co-Is (e.g., there could be a statement along the lines that 'in previous work being prepared for publication we showed the following:...').


Data access

  • Observations requested through Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT) typically have a proprietary period of three months. PIs may also choose to waive the proprietary period.

  • Open Time proposals typically have a proprietary period of 12 months after the last observation has been obtained.

  • Proprietary periods vary for Large Survey Projects (LSPs) depending on observing seasons.

It is the responsibility of the the Principal Investigator (PI) to assign access to their team, using the Keycloak administration console.

Please see the group management guide for instructions on how to do this.


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Spectral line

MeerKAT does not apply Doppler corrections. We advise using the CASA task CVEL to apply corrections after bandpass calibration is applied.


See discussion on polarisation calibration.

The MeerKAT RFI environment is dominated by satellite-based RFI and as such is largely independent of time of day. Solar interference may play a factor in observations of low-surface brightness HI and this may be justification for night-only observations.

The Observation Planning Tool (OPT)

These specify the systems that will receive data from the digitisers. Standard observations must have the correlator/beamformer (CBF) and the science data processor (SDP). Optional resources are the user-supplied equipment (USE), which capture data commensally.

Data reduction

Do not apply all flags when converting to MS format. ingest_rfi flags any outliers and usually catches lines such as Galactic HI and masers. In this case you should only use --static, --cam, --data_lost

Flag descriptions are here.

  • Calibration for the preceding cal scans failed, thus causing subsequent target scans to be flagged. This was quite frequent in the early development phases of the pipeline.

Do not apply SDP flags when setting up the conversion to measurement set, or disable the flags in CASA.

See the page on compute requirements.