(PST V2.0) Help Desk Comments - June 2008

Main Problem Areas

  1. Authors/Institutions.
  2. Sources/Resources/Sessions.



1. in the main Portal page, there are 3 tabs - Dashboard, Proposals and Administration. it would seem to me to be much more intuitive to rename the Administration one to Profile. in almost all other online applications/accounts that is what it is called. Administration brings to mind the management of the whole system, not a simple user profile.


1. I have a very short GBT proposal that I realised might be more suitable as a Rapid Response project in the Exploratory Time category. I can't see how to mark it as such in the Proposal Tool - is this possible? Or would it be OK to submit as an 08C proposal as the deadline is very soon and note it as Exploratory in the case?

2. I note that line breaks are apparently funnily created with the NRAO PST (you can have a look at the abstract of a proposal in preparation, but it happens the same to all proposals I have). I would be very grateful if you could do anything to alleviate the problem.

3. the 'General" tab deleted all my edits when I tried to save simply because I had not yet written my abstract. The tab should always save partial information so people can return to edit/add information later!

4. there is no option for pseudo-continuum on the General page


1. There is one behavior of the PST that I do not like much. Below is what happened.
In my proposal A, one of the co-authors is not in the PST author information system. I entered his name, email, and institution into the proposal. It works. There is no problem.
In my proposal B, the same person is a co-author again. When I tried to add his name to the proposal, the PST recognized his name and email, but there is no institutional information for him. Although his information was originally provided by me, including his institution, I am not able to correct this missing info about this institution. This makes me not able to validate the proposal, and I have to inform that person to build his account in the PST in order to include him in any of my future proposals.
This does not make sense. If his institution is accepted in my proposal A, the same should happen in all my other proposals B,C,D,E,F,G. If PST believes that this person does not have a correct institution, proposal A should not be validated either. If PST allows me to add that person into the database, PST should accept all the basic information I entered and allow me to include that person in all my subsequent proposals.

2. I'm trying to enter an institutional affiliation for my co-I but for some reason PST would not let me do that. Any suggestions? The proposal has not been submitted yet (I does not verify because of the missing institution).

3. I am trying to submit a TOO PROPOSAL (Target of Opportunity) and when I try to "validate" my proposal in order to submit it, it says that my two co-authors do not have affiliations. This is somewhat puzzling since they were co-authors on a proposal with me in October 2007 and they do have affiliations. In any case, I have emailed them to fix their profiles, but since this is a TOO we'd like to submit the proposal ASAP; is there a way I can either edit their affiliations or submit the proposal without them? Any advice would be great appreciated as I am trying to submit this proposal now.

4. I am trying to add co-authors to a VLA proposal who are not in the system. The current method for selecting affiliations, using a scroll button to go down the list of all possible affiliations, is very badly executed: I can't see half the information in the window which displays the currently selected affiliation. There should be a better way to input this information. In fact, a proposal I started working on a few days ago had a different format for entering affiliations (by hand). For reference, I am using Firefox v. on a Mac OS X v 10.4.11.

5. My institution is not in the PST database and apparently "Contact me to add my institution" is not valid for submitting the proposal. I am ready to submit but need my institution to be added. My Institution: Montana State University Please let me know when it is in there.

6. I do not manage to update the authors information. One of my collaborators (Wilfried Domainko) appears either with the old affiliation (Innsbruck), or with the new email address (wilfried.domainko@mpi-hd.mpg.de) but with no possibility to update the affiliation. What should I do? I intend to submit the proposal this afternoon, if this problem is not solved by then I will use his old affiliation.

7. Could you quickly add to the database of organisations: Onsala Space Observatory, 43992 Onsala, Sweden so that I can put two Swedish Co-I's on the proposal that I am writing,

8. I have the following problem when including co-authors using the NRAO proposal submission tool. In particular, I initially added a coauthor to the list (Stefan Ruegamer, whom I am sending a copy of this email). Since I didn't know his official institution, I filled in the rest of the details and sent a copy to him, asking to fill in the institution. Now, I have logged in again, and when I try to add the new information (by clicking on the one which includes the institutional information), the NRAO tool keeps on getting the old author information, which lacks the institution.

9. hi -- how do I delete an author from the author list?

10. I am trying to add an author to one of my proposals, "The Megamaser Cosmology Project: Year 2". After I fill in the information for the new author and click the "add" button, I get an error:
The database rejected this operation.
You are attempting to delete a source or a resource that is in use by a session.
Please fix and try again.

11. I am still having trouble adding authors to my proposal. When I attempt to add Lei Hao, I click "add", I search on "hao", I get many entries, but none of them are correct. So now I'm stuck -- how do I add her? I do not see how to add a user that does not appear on the search results. Well, I can repeat a search, enter some nonsense in the search box, then I get the data entry form again (this is not very elegant). But then I have the same problem as before -- I get the error message after adding the information for the new author. Would you please add the following authors to "The Megamaser Cosmology Project: Year 2":
Lei Hao, Cornell, haol@isc.astro.cornell.edu
Philip Lah, Australian National University, plah@mso.anu.edu.au

12. My name is Noriyuki Matsunaga, a post-doc working for Kyoto University in Japan. We are preparing a proposal of the VLA for the deadline of 02 June. We did not find the affilications for two of us:
- Noriyuki Matsunaga : matsunaga@kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Department of Astronomy, Kyoto University, Japan
- Hiroyuki Nakanishi : hnakanis@sci.kagoshima-u.ac.jp
Department of Physics, Kagoshima University, Japan
Could you please add them? It seems that it is not possible to submit our proposal until the affiliations are prepared. Apologies for the late request just before the deadline. Thank you very much in advance.

13. My institution (the Royal Military College of Canada) is not in the list of recognised Affiliations and Organisations in the PST; my affiliation therefore appears as "Please contact me to add my Institution". Is it possible to add my institution to the list in time for the deadline today?

14. hi - Dominic Benford (NASA-GSFC) is not coming up in the PST database which can't be right. He's at the AAS, I sent him a message asking him to check his registration, but could you also look into it? I wonder if it got lost in the move to the new system a cycle or two ago.

15. My proposal entitled "Searches for the C4S and C5S in TMC-1" cannot be validated in the NRAO Web tool. It is because a Co-I. Prof. Kentarou Kawaguchi does not have a valid affiliation. I have already asked him to register affiliation, but he said he couldn't. I found his name itself already registered in the "Available Author", but default affiliation not set. I have already filled out all forms found in the web: http://my.nrao.edu, and uploaded pdf file named GBT.pdf for Scientific & Technical justification. The institution for Prof. K. Kawaguchi is Okayama University, as listed in the authors of "GH43" in GBT/08A-087 proposal. I would like to ask you that our proposal be surely submitted before the deadline today. In this email, I attach the observing application named "proposal.pdf", created by clicking the "print preview" icon of "Options"-"My proposals". I would appreciate your kind assistance ASAP.

16. I am not able to submit this proposal because one of my co-Is, Nikolai Chugai's institution information is not there in the NRAO system. Because of this Proposal submission tool is not validating the proposal and hence I am not able to submit the proposal. His information was alright last time when I had submitted the proposal. I don't know what happened this time. However, Nikolai Chugai is from Russia and chances that he will be able to update the affiliation before submission deadline is unlikely. Is there a way that I can submit the proposal successfully. Nikolai Chugai's institute affiliation is Institute of Astronomy, Moscow.

17. the 'Add author' button on the Author page would not return anything in the search for people whose names were definately in the author list.

18. The attached proposal for the June 1st deadline would not submit because it is giving an error saying the following...
Proposal is wrong
Author: Antoaneta Antonova, does not have a valid affiliation
Author: John Doyle, does not have a valid affiliation
Author: Julien Morin, does not have a valid affiliation
Author: Jean-Francois Donati, does not have a valid affiliation
Author: Xavier Delfosse, does not have a valid affiliation
Author: Thierry Forveille, does not have a valid affiliation
I had selected 'Please contact me to add my Institution' for each author and have no other option to select that will allow me to submit the proposal! How do I proceed because the deadline has now passed for submission of proposals and I cannot find a solution to this problem!

Scientific Justification

1. the option to upload the science justification as a .txt file in my.nrao.edu doesn't seem to work. I tried this for my GBT proposal but it just generated a page of errors and no way to get back to the link to upload another file. It stayed this way even when I logged out and in again, or logged in on a different platform (Windows/Explorer instead of Linuz/Firefox). I solved it by making a proposal copy without the science case and uploading a pdf instead... but this is a bit of a pain as I only have a short science case and uploading the .txt would have been easier. Is this a fixable bug?


1. I made a draft proposal for VLA time and have the following problems/questions;
1) Using the NED/SIMBAD identifier to get coordinates failed for star "R Leo". I tried SIMBAD outside the tool and it found "R Leo".
2) I put 3 stars in one source group, which worked fine until I looked at the "Session Source/Resource Pairs". It put all 3 stars in the source column for each session, whereas I wanted each session to have only 1 source. Can I fix this easily, or do I need to delete everything and start over?
3) The "Front & Backend" of the Resources, has very limited choices for the VLA correlator. We have used a continuum setup that has a narrow band and a broad band simultaneously (in both RCP and LCP). All that is available is "VLA correlator - Single Channel Continuum".
4) If I want to do a very brief spectral-line observation (10 min) in addition to 8 hours of continuum observations, do I really have to go through all the effort of entering new resources and sessions?

2. I am trying to create a new proposal using GBT PST. I am having problem with defining 'GBT Resources'. I have also attached the screenshot. Basically I define the Resource name as J0839R and then I want to choose the backend as 'GBT spectral processor-spectral line mode' for the receiver 'PF1 340 MHz'. But I am not able to select backend. Everytime I do that, backend selection goes back to GBT spectrometer.

3. I am putting in my first proposal with the new system, and trying to understand the difference between Sessions, Resources and Sources. Can you point me to a good guide or FAQ.

4. While preparing an HSA proposal, I have encountered a couple of problems:
1) In the resources page, while both "Full Polarization" and "Pulsar Gating" are unchecked, the print preview is showing one check mark next to them, and the printed PDF file is showing a check mark next to each one of them.
2) While the sessions page sets the min and max GST range, both the print preview and the pdf printout are showing "LST" instead of "GST".

5. Under sources, I am trying to reorder the sources (right now, I have Transient 2 listed before Transient 1). I have tried clicking on "up" and "down" to switch the order, and the webform seems to run some process, but the order stays the same.

6. The "Search NED/SIMBAD" feature on the "Sources" page of the PST doesn't seem to be working. I search common sources like ngc 1068 and get: Target 'ngc 1068' not found in NED and SIMBAD. NED is up and running, at least for interactive sessions.

7. I have a proposal with 57 targets, to be observed as fill-in and therefore each having a separate observing session (each one identical except for the target). Can I add them as a single group of 57 targets with 57 sessions? Or will that come out as 57 observations of all 57 targets? Do I need to have one session per target?

6. I am having more trouble with the PST. I previously reported errors trying to add authors. Now I also cannot add sources. When I clicked on the "add" button to add a source, I get the following error:
java.lang.NumberFormatException: For input string: ""

7. In my in-process proposal 2008-05-21 (90 GHz Photometry of High Redshift Quasars, Benford PI) one of my source groups called 3h source disappeared. somebody else's source group called "Water" appeared in its place -- there are two sources here which i definitely did not enter, which appear to be real astronomical sources. I'm reentering 3h source now...
The bug i previously reported with source lists just happened to me w/ sessions -- i got someone else's sessions (zspec), mine went away

8. I was working on my VLA proposal which is due today (VLA/2008-04-213), and was editing the author list of the proposal pages. I clicked on the blue navigation back button you created on the web-page just above the table of author names, expecting to go back to the "General" page of my proposal. Instead, I found myself on someone else's General page, and I appeared to have edit priveledges. I just tried to re-create the problem, and cannot.....but just wanted to let you know that something may be amiss.

9. 4P mode is still not supported, the instructions say to put both resources in and manually modify the times but there does not appear to be any way to comply with these instructions. The times are fixed and the system will not accept a modifier of 0.5 as the multiplier. Rather than have the proposal appear to ask for double the time I chose to modify the second frequency of the 4 band code to be a P band frequency. This meant my time was ok but my bandwidth codes and channels were wrong. The system also warned that if this does not pass the technical evaluation it could be rejected. It should not be this difficult on proposers to use a standard observing mode in PST and we certainly should not risk technical rejection because the system cannot be configured by the user for the desired mode.
if one clicks on 'edit resources' the system reverts all settings back to the default of 4 band, single line continuum etc. This changes all the frequency settings that were made, resets the hanning smoothing, modifies the correlator setup and even changes the configuration! Each small edit (necessary because of the 4P issue described above) forced me to re-do everything and nearly led to submission of the proposal with incorrect information.

10. I had a problem when entering my proposal sessions. I want to use the GBT Spectrometer and DCR simultaneously during observations, but I could figure out how to specify this in the sessions. So each observation is actually entered twice, once for each backend, and the total time request is 2x too large. I submitted though for fear of mssing the deadline completely. Can this be fixed?

11. As I was preparing a proposal, I performed some mouse action ("new session" maybe -- I don't remember exactly) and the PST seemed to place me into another user's account. Suddenly none of my proposals were visible and I was looking at a page from someone else's proposal. I simply clicked "Back" on my browser and all appeared as normal at that point. It happened quickly and harmlessly so I didn't pay much attention to it, and I'm afraid I didn't record any details. I was either working on the GBT/08C-35 or GBT/08C-15 when this happened. I wish I had more details to give, but that's all I recall.

Student Support

| 1. I am trying to apply for student support via the proposal website, but it says that on the proposal there are no students fully registered in the database. I have an account, but how do I fully register?

2. I am having trouble finding the place to attach the ascii application form for the VLBA student support. Should I e-mail the form to someone instead?

Proposal Processing

1. I just found that I cannot delete proposals from the PST. The error message is : "The database rejected this operation. You are attempting to delete a source or a resource that is in use by a session. Please fix and try again." I also cannot delete sessions/source groups /resources from the PST. I obtained the same error message when doing all these things.... Could you tell me how to do it?

2. To submit a proposal, it would have been helpful to have a column heading/label for the submission button (right arrows)...something like "Submit?"

3. I am trying to delete a proposal, but I keep getting the error: "You are attempting to delete a record that is used by various sections of a proposal. For example, attempting to delete an author who is either a Principal Investigator or a Contact" Could you tell me what I need to do in order to delete the entire proposal?


1. I have some problems with the interactive services: When I go to Proposals I get a HTTP error Status 500, complaining about some Tomcat error. Nevertheless, I would like to submit some proposals for this deadline. Can you give me some hints how to solve that?

2. editing the front page, and hit Save, and the browser just spins and spins - no progress. when i hit Cancel, i got:
HTTP Status 404 - /nrao-2.0/secure/garbage.html
type Status report
message /nrao-2.0/secure/garbage.html
description The requested resource (/nrao-2.0/secure/garbage.html) is not available. Apache Tomcat/5.5.15

3. On the list of proposals page it would be nice to allow the user to search their proposals by configuration as well.

-- DanaBalser - 16 Jun 2008
Topic revision: r2 - 2008-06-16, DanaBalser
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