The Program Committee for Effelsberg (PKE)

A short description of how the PKE works

1. Duties

  • scientific evaluation of observing programs;
  • recommendation to the directors, stating scientific value (graded in three priority ratings or in a rejection), time required for completion of a project.

2. Protection of Priority

  • Observing requests are only considered by the committee if the receiving system required is already in operation or will be ready within the coming 6 months.
  • In principal, for similar projects the observing time should only be granted once.
  • An observing project is protected for a period of one year after completion of the observations.
  • Overlapping programs will be coordinated by the Directors before observing time is allocated.

Members of the Program Comittee for Effelsberg

The present members of the PKE are: Andreas Brunthaler (MPIfR), Matthis Kadler (University of Würzburg), Lucas Guillemot (Université d’Orléans), Jan Brand (INAF, Bologna), Thomas Krichbaum (MPIfR), John McKean (University of Groningen / ASTRON), Rob Beswick (University of Manchester), and Paulo Freire (MPIfR).

Allocation of Observing Time

Observing time is allocated on the basis of sequence of receivers scheduled on the telescope, and, basically, in the order of the priorities recommended by the program committee.

Special consideration is given to:

  • VLBI network sessions, which amount to some 25% of the total observing time, and are reviewed by a special program committee.
  • Observations which are directly related to dissertations from German universities.
  • Observations which require specific dates, such as time critical observations of transient phenomena and/or observations that are part of multiwavelength campaigns requiring simultaneous observations with different telescopes.

In spite of a positive recommendation by the PKE, scheduling of a program may be delayed since:

  • the number of approved proposals exceeds the available observing time. (This is particularly the case for observations at 1.3 cm wavelength.)
  • the requested receiver is not ready for installation at the time, or its installation is not planned. (One should bear in mind that receivers for the telescope cover a range from 3 mm to 75 cm wavelength.)

An observer can therefore not judge when the observing time will be allocated, simply on the basis of the PKE recommendation. He/she will usually be informed about 4 weeks in advance when the project is to be scheduled.

All refereed proposals remain eligible for one year. After this, they are removed from the waiting list. The observer will be informed on this act and may resubmit his proposal to the PKE. (On average, 25% of all proposals are affected by this rule.)

In case you observe at Effelsberg for the first time, it would be a good idea to contact a local astronomer:


Spectroscopy: Benjamin Winkel (
Continuum and VLBI: Uwe Bach (
Pulsar: Ramesh Karuppusamy (
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