(PST V2.0) Help Desk Comments - October 2009

Main Problem Areas



1. I would like to recover my (successful) proposal GBT09A-015 so that I can prepare a follow-up proposal for the 1 Oct 2009 deadline. My copy of GBT09A-015 is on a laptop computer that is inaccessible. How can I recover it? When I try https://my.nrao.edu/nrao-2.0/secure/ProposalList.htm no proposals are listed.

2. I'm trying to register with your database of users as a coauthor of a new proposal to use the facilities of the NRAO. However, the system says that I'm already registered. The system sent to my old password. But, I could not enter into the system by this password. I would like to modify the old information. Could you, please, help me in this regards.

3. I get the error message:
The credentials you provided cannot be determined to be authentic.
and it won't let me log in. What do I do now?
Yes I worked that out, thanks. Wasn't a very informative error message!

4. I was just going to edit a proposal but I can't seem to get in under the new username you listed in your email below - the system doesn't seem to recognise me, it gives an error message:
A user with Username: TimO'Brien was NOT found
I tried without the apostrophe in case that was a problem but still no joy.
Could you check for me to see what my username should be?

5. I am trying to log into my NRAO user account and have run into some difficulties. I received a temporary password, which then allowed me to successfully log into the account, but I am unable to get past the screen which requires me to set a new password. (I entered the information, but then when I clicked to login it didn't do anything.) Do you have any idea what the problem is? Thanks! I assume you need to know the following:
email used for account: spezialaura@yahoo.com
user name: Laura_Zschaechner

6. I tried to enter the information requested following:
You have successfully logged into NRAO Interactive Services with a temporary password.
Before continuing you are required to reset this temporary password.
Please reset your password by filling in the appropriate information below.
Your system apparently doesn’t like what I provide but doesn’t tell me why.
My only function in the proposal process was to add/edit some information concerning my identity – I had no part in writing or submitting the proposal. In that minor role, I had considerable problem with establishing a new password – this required several go-arounds with your Web staff. The reason for the problem was never determined. Once there, I found that I was listed as affiliated with the University of Minnesota. This required another interaction with your staff to get removed. My impression is that the overall system is buggy and could use the help of someone experienced with this sort of design.

7. For some reason I cannot login to the NRAO observing proposal submission page. I started the process a couple of days ago, but when I tried to add the scientific justification at this afternoon, mu login didn't work. After a while I requested a new password, which was sent, but it doesn't work wither.


1. Is there a tool that can tell me the elevation of a source, given its RA, Dec, time and date of observation, for GBT? For VLA I used JObserve, but I'm not sure about GBT.

2. It greatly reduces submission flexibility. The proposer has to have Web access in order to do anything. In my view, far more useful would be a stand-alone client that one could run on a local machine (a la JObserve) with which one could prepare a file (or set of files) and submit that. This would enable proposal preparation on an airplane or in some other locale where Web access might be spotty or non-existent.


1. I am working on a VLBA proposal and I am having a problem with the PST. The proposed project will be part of Cheng-Yu Kuo's thesis. There is no "thesis" checkbox on the authors page, to identify this as a thesis observation. Also, we previously submitted Cheng-Yu's dissertation plan as part of another, accepted proposal. The dissertation plan does not show here.

Scientific Justification


1. I'm trying to fill out the Sources/Resources/Sessions section of my EVLA Resident Shared Risk proposal, and when I got to the resources page I was given this note: To complete your proposal, you must fill out and submit the EVLA Use Case Tool located at https://e2e.nrao.edu/use-case. When I look at the Use Case webpage, it is very unclear to me how many of these I am supposed to fill out. And, where should we be getting information about data rates and total data volumes? I have not found this in the EVLA documentation yet. Oh-- also, the way the use case website is linked from the proposal submission tool, it does not actually take you to the website and just gives a broken link because the link includes a period after use-case which should not be there.

2. When I try to add a source or use the Ned button to add a source to a group, I get a 404 error page from your Apache server. This happened yesterday and today. It also happens when I try to submit a bug in the bug page.

3. I am proposing for a VLBI observation with the VLBA+GBT array. Hence, in the 'resource page' I am tickmarking all the antennas in the VLBA box and the GBT in the HSA box. Should I also state in the cover that it is a joint proposal (and hence, submitting, in parallel, also a GBT proposal) or this only applies to project where GBT is used in connection to other NRAO antennas as a single dish?

4. I just would like to know if the on-source time which is an input in the EVLA exposure calculator is including the time on the phase calibrator or not (I assume it is not including the overheads for calibration, pointing, etc.). I'm surprised by the small numbers that the calculator is giving: for example, in the K band, for a bandwidth of 2 MHz and 2h of on-source time I'm getting a rms noise of 145 microJy/b. Is that correct? If yes, which is the factor to apply to the on-source time to get the total observing time?

5. However, for proposals like mine, where I have a handful of sources with different integration times and requirements, the new source list tool in the PST is extremely clunky. In order to be able to select the different sources for different sessions, I needed to add a new source group for each source, then add the source to the new source group. Since the source group and the source are required to have different names, I had to go back and manually change the name of the sources in each group. It's marginally better if I made my own file to import, but then I don't have use of the nice 'search in NED/simbad' feature. I would greatly appreciate it if the next version of the proposal tool included a better mechanism for adding sources. Would it be possible to have both source groups and individual objects?

6. I keep getting errors when I try and add sources using the 'search in NED/simbad' feature.

7. I'm starting an EVLA proposal via PST. When I pull sources from NED the PST always gets the wrong velocity information. Is that easy to fix?

8. I am preparing an EVLA proposal for the upcoming March-June 2010 trimester and I am hoping to get some advice regarding the available Resources. We were planning to observe with the X-band in D configuration with a 2GHz bandwidth. Looking at the available Correlator Setups, am I right in thinking that the highest BW available is 256MHz? I understand that the EVLA X-band is not fully available yet and that it is the VLA X-band (8.0-8.8 GHz) receivers which will be in use instead, but I notice that the list of Correlator Setups in the Resources tab of the proposal is the same for the other bands too. Therefore, is 256MHz that largest available BW in the Mar-Jun 2010 trimester, or have I misunderstood?

9. Wayne and I have uploaded our entire source catalog (882 sources) to the PST for our GBT proposal. Should we be concerned when we click print preview that the source list is 60 pages? I assume that you need to see all of the sources - but that this gets truncated when sent to referees - correct?

10. The entire notion of "Session," as used within the PST, is confusing and non-intuitive. To my mind, a "session" should be a coherent set of observations, even if it requires multiple "resources." Thus, if I require a spectrum of an object from observations at S, C, and X band, the session consists of acquiring that set of observations. However, as currently structured, it appears necessary to have three different "sessions" rather than 1 session utilizing three different "resources."

Student Support

1. I am trying to request student support on a couple of GBT proposals where the student is a co-I on the proposal. In the PST when I click on the Student Support tab for the relevant proposals it simply states the existence of the program and provides a link for more information; there is no form to fill out attached to the proposal. Is this a bug or is there an alternative way I am supposed to apply for funds? Or is there some limitation that prevents me from applying for these students?

Proposal Processing

1. I write to you because a student here at BYU, Jessica Bugno had a problem submitting her proposal to the VLA. This is a resubmission for proposal AB1337. She filled out all the info but the problems started with the part about choosing the back-end. This was meant to be a simple 2-50 MHz IFs continuum mode run. But only EVLA options were available!! We chose one and wrote some comments in the appropriate box. When we submitted a message came up about having to fill another form, EVLA-case-tool. We did the best we could with that and completed form. Weird because it asks for the ID which one does not get until after the submission process. Anyway, we tried again to submit the proposal but it came back with the same message about filling the form!!! What do we do now!!!! The file with the current proposal is VLA/2009-08-211.

2. A user (Russ Taylor) who is finishing up a RSRO proposal called me just now and told me that the PST would not allow him to submit his proposal. He had filled out the use-case tool (and put in the running number (VLA/2009-08-162) for the Legacy ID. I told him not to worry about that. He submitted the use-case. Then when he got ready to submit the proposal, he got a message that said he needed to submit the use-case tool, and could not submit his proposal.

3. I am planning on submitting a proposal today for the Oct 1 deadline. This is basically a re-write of a proposal I submitted this past June, so in order to minimize the amount of work and time on inputting information into the system, I have tried to copy this proposal, project ID GBT/09C-071 ("Timing of Four Unique Pulsars: System Evolution and Tests of General Relativity"), as I have done in the past. However, when I try to do so, it does not appear to work, giving me the error:
org.hibernate.PropertyAccessException: Null value was assigned to a property of primitive type setter of data.resources.ResourceGbtGuppi.ChannelCount
A similar thing happened to me last round, but with different errors, but I would prefer to be able to do the copy so that I don't have to spend a lot of time that I didn't foresee, recreating a brand new proposal, and focus instead on editing my proposal as best I can before submitting it. If you can help me with this, I would most definitely appreciate it. In any case, please let me know if this will be possible, and if there is something I can do to help further.

4. I'm trying to submit a proposal and the PST is complaining about author affiliations being invalid. Basically, they are blank. But these authors have been on proposals before and now there is only 10 minutes until the deadline. How come the PST only tells me there's a problem with this at submission time?


1. [Print Preview] I'm getting the following error message for my one proposal currently in progress (GBT/2009-08-033) although it's a pretty standard proposal and my justification pdf looks ok. Is this because I started from a copy of a 2008 Feb 1 proposal? PLease let me know if this represents a real problem, as I would like to submit soonish.

Server (my.nrao.edu)

1. I have trouble accessing my proposals at my.nrao.edu. I had signed in yesterday but hadn't logged out, so I suppose the system logged me out after a while of inactivity. Now I'm getting an error saying
"Secure Connection Failed
An error occurred during a connection to my.nrao.edu.
Peer's Certificate has been revoked.
(Error code: sec_error_revoked_certificate)
The page you are trying to view can not be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
* Please contact the web site owners to inform them of this problem."

2. I just had my firefox (v 3.5.3) crash while I was logged into the PST using my.nrao.edu The crash was not caused by any PST software, etc. When I restarted my computer and restarted firefox (using the resume sessions option) I got the login page for my.nrao.edu When I entered my username and password I got the following error java.lang.NumberFormatException: For input string: "" I then used "back" to go back to the login and then "back" once again and viola - I was in the PST without any problems. Strange but probably explainable behavior.

-- DanaBalser - 2009-10-06
Topic revision: r2 - 2009-10-07, DanaBalser
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