IGN ICTS Yebes 40m

- Call for proposals
- NorthStar
- RT40m webcam

Yebes Observatory RT40m CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Proposals are invited for observations with the RT40m telescope in Yebes Observatory, for observations till April 30th 2016.

Deadline: October 2nd 2015 (23:59:59 UTC)

The National Geographic Institute of Spain (IGN) operates a 40-m radio telescope located in Yebes Observatory, a large-scale scientific facility (ICTS) about 50 km north-east of Madrid. The Yebes 40-m diameter millimetre-wave telescope is used for, e.g., observations of spectral line emission from molecules (in circumstellar envelopes, the interstellar medium in the Galaxy, extragalactic objects, etc), and also for astronomical and geodetic VLBI observations (through a separate proposal procedure.)

Observing period and operations:

This Call for proposals is for the observing period until April 30th 2016.

Access to the telescope is available to all qualified scientists, of any country. The present policy allows the allocation of up to 30% of available observing time to external astronomers. Observing time is assigned to applicants based on the recommendations of the IGN Yebes Program Committee (IYPC), which judges the scientific merit (and technical feasibility) of the observing proposals. Observers are NOT requested to visit Yebes to carry out their observations.

Telescope: 40-m diameter telescope, operated 24 h/day. Location: Yebes, 50 km north-east of Madrid. Latitude 40o 31' 30.75" N, longitude 3o 5' 19.41" W, elevation 980 meters.

Receivers, spectrometers, etc.:


The RT40m is equipped with HEMT receivers for the 2.2-50 GHz range, and a SIS receiver for the 85-116 GHz range. However for single dish observations only the frequency ranges in the table below can be observed. Observations at frequencies below 4.8 GHz may have strong RFI, and for frequencies above 100 GHz are subject to low efficiency. Observations at X band (8 GHz) are at a fixed frequency and hence cannot be corrected for Doppler shifts.

Receiver characteristics:

Frequency range Receiver temp. Receiver type Polarization LO tunability Efficiency
4.8 - 6.7 GHz 30 K HEMT amplifier Dual (circular pol.) Yes ~70 %
8.15 - 8.65 GHz 30 K HEMT amplifier Dual (circular pol.) No ~70 %
21.0 - 25.0 GHz 50 K HEMT amplifier Dual (circular pol.) Yes ~55 %
41.0 - 49.0 GHz 50 K HEMT amplifier Dual (circular pol.) Yes ~40 %
85 - 100 GHz 50 - 60 K SIS mixer Single linear pol. Yes <20 %
Receivers at different frequencies cannot be used simultaneously except for the 22 and 45 GHz receivers which can be used at the same time.


The back-ends for spectral line observations consist of a Fast Fourier Transform spectrometer (FFTS) with the following characteristics:

Spectrometer Total bandwidth Resolution
FFTS* 2x100 MHz, 2x500 MHz, 2x1.5 GHz 6.1 kHz, 30 kHz, 183 kHz
*These modes cannot be used simultaneously.

Observing modes:

Position switching mode is available. In some cases frequency switching observing mode may be possible.

Observing procedures:

Observations will be performed by Yebes operators using macros/procedures defined and prepared by the observer with the help of the Yebes astronomer on duty. A cookbook of the single dish line command system will be available here together with examples to help observers in the preparation of their observations.

Proposal preparation and submission:

RT40m uses NorthStar for preparation and submission of proposals. NorthStar is used by several radio and optical observatories.

In NorthStar, information about applicants, instruments, targets, etc., is to be provided "on-line", and the scientific justification is to be prepared "off-line" and uploaded as a pdf file (also target lists can be uploaded). NorthStar then produces one pdf file with all information. NorthStar includes information on how to use it.

The proposal must contain a proper and concise scientific justification including an explanation for how the requested observing time was calculated, in total no more than two A4 pages long, plus figures and tables if needed (for a total of maximum six pages). Proposers should mention relevant previous observation with RT40m or other telescopes, and clearly show preliminary results. Observing time estimates should be made using the on-line observing time calculator. If observations are for Ph.D. work, this should be stated.

For VLBI proposals special rules apply. For proposals which request Yebes RT40m as part of the European VLBI Network (EVN) see here. Information on proposals for the Global mm-VLBI network can be found here.


Publications based on Yebes RT40m observations should be acknowledged:

Based on observations with the 40-m radio telescope of the National Geographic Institute of Spain (IGN) at Yebes Observatory.

Further information:

  • The NorthStar proposal submission tool.
  • Questions about the telescope, receivers, etc.: email tech40m AT oan.es
  • In case of problems with NorthStar: email northstar AT oan.es
  • General questions about proposals: proposal40m AT oan.es