Call for Proposals 2016B
The 2016B Call Closed 5:00 pm PDT Friday 01 April 2016
This Material Provided for Reference Only
- Keck I and Keck II, with possible trades for SUBARU time.
- Palomar 200-inch.
- Palomar 60-inch (service observing only).
- Palomar Oschin Telescope (service observing only).
Caltech Faculty, Senior Research Associates, Senior Research Fellows,
Post-Doctoral Scholars, Senior Research Staff (approved by the COO Director) and Graduate Students may
apply for COO-administered observing time at Keck and Palomar, subject to the following:
- Applicants must be in residence at Caltech at the time proposals are submitted.
- Caltech Faculty and Senior Research Associates may submit no more than three Keck proposals
and/or any number of Palomar proposals.
- Caltech Senior Research Fellows, Post-Doctoral Scholars and Senior Research Staff may submit any number
of Palomar proposals but are limited to one Keck proposal per semester.
- Caltech Graduate Students may apply for Palomar time only.
- Each proposal should cover a single, coherent, well-defined scientific topic.
- The system of P/s and A/s to designate preferred and acceptable runs (respectively), intended
to take the guess-work out of scheduling, rests on two conditions: First, observers need to be
as generous as possible in designating acceptable runs, since overly-constrictive selections
make scheduling difficult and, in extreme cases, may even preclude the assignment of observing
time to the project. A good approach would be to tag any observing run as Acceptable if the
data can be obtained during that period. Second, the scheduler will not assign observing time
in a run that has not been tagged by the observer with a P or an A. Should circumstances obtain
that such assignment might be needed, the scheduler will discuss the situation with the observer
before any exception to the rule is applied.
- If two or more Keck proposals are submitted, the one representing your highest-priority should be designated
as Priority 1 or Principal; all others are Priority 2 or Secondary. Similarly, if
two or more proposals are submitted for the Palomar telescopes, your highest priority project should be designated
as Principal and all others as Secondary. Only one proposal for Keck time and only one proposal for
200-inch time may be designated as Principal. Proposal priority designations are made on the Keck and Palomar
coversheets -- please make your priority intent clear for time allocation processing, and please note that page limits
for Principal and Secondary proposals are different (see below).
- Proposals consist of three parts: Cover Sheet, Discussion & Figures, Observing List.
- Cover Sheets:
Discussion & Figures: Provide a short (see page limits, below) description of the project, explaining
the scientific goals and methodology, and justifying the time and equipment requested. Also include citations
to publications referenced in the discussion. For new projects, provide an estimate of the total time
required to complete the work; for continuing projects, give the status of previously obtained data and an
estimate of the time needed to finish. Please note that our policies have changed for 2016B: figures
and tables may now be directly embedded in the proposal narrative at the proposers discretion. Discussion
and figures/tables can be mixed as long as neither category exceeds the limits given below.
For projects in support of an approved thesis, include an estimate of the total observing time required,
the time already allocated and the status of the data already in hand. Explain any constraints that may affect scheduling.
N.B. Copies of the proposals sent to the TAC members
will be printed in black-and-white format but the committee members will be able to access color versions in a
secure on-line directory.
Observing List: Provide a list of targets to be observed, including names, coordinates and
magnitudes. Please give right ascensions in units hms (not degrees).
- Keck: Follow the procedures at
Applying for Keck Telescope Time. Keck uses an on-line system with password protection to
allow observers to retrieve and modify their cover sheets. If you are a returning observer, use the
same account information as in previous semesters. If you are a new observer, request an account by
following the instructions on the log-in page.
- Palomar: Please use the appropriate cover sheet
- Specify the details of your requested observing runs. Be sure to name the instrument required and the number of nights requested. If you want your observing time scheduled in single block (if possible), enter the
P/s and A/s on a single line in the cover sheet table. If, however, you want the time split
into two or more runs, use a separate line for each run.
Page limits: 1 page = One side of a sheet 8½ x 11 inches, with suitable margins.
Type size = 11- or 12-point.
When finished, combine your cover sheet with the discussion and observing list into a single pdf document
(see note below) and attach it to an e-mail to brucato-[at]-astro.caltech.edu
not later than 5:00 pm PDT Friday 01 April 2016.
|Principal Proposal ||3 pages ||4 pages ||As needed|
|Secondary Proposals ||2 pages ||4 pages ||As needed|
|Palomar - Large Project ||8 pages ||4 pages ||As needed|
- Date-Specific Observing – Restricted to projects requiring observations only at very precise times
(e.g., occultations, transits, critical phase coverage in a binary, etc.). Be sure to check the
Date-Specific box on the cover sheet. Scheduling a Date-Specific project correctly obviously
is essential but the process is open to confusion, mainly because the date of an observing night
as it appears on the schedule (15 May, for example) actually includes observing time on two calendar dates (15 and 16 May,
in the example). To preclude any ambiguity, please provide a table listing the individual events to be observed,
including the following information:
- Name of target
- Coordinates of target
- Type of event to be observed
- Time and date of event (local time, not UT)
- Date on Schedule
|Kepler 13||19h 07.8m||+47d 52m||Transit||01:15HT 06 Aug||05 Aug (= 5/6 Aug)|
|Same||Same||Same||Same||22:30HT 12 Aug||12 Aug (= 12/13 Aug)|
|WASP 77b||02h 28.5m||-07d 04m||Transit||00:00HT 21 Nov||20 Nov (= 20/21 Nov)|
- For projects involving both Keck and Palomar, submit the Keck and Palomar cover sheets
separately. The discussion and observing list need be attached only to the Keck
- Requests for half nights will be accommodated within the constraints set by the scheduling. When
requesting half nights, specify in the proposal discussion whether first-half or second-half time
- Target of Opportunity projects may be requested for Keck and/or the 200-inch. See
for details. All Keck ToO requests are assumed by default to be part of the
Keck Partnership ToO program.
- For Keck instrument availability in 2016B, go to
Keck Instrument Availability.
- Only a single proposal (cover sheet, discussion, figures and observing list) is needed for a project
involving both Keck I and Keck II.
- Keck II Laser: LGSAO on Keck II will be available throughout the semester with no restrictions. The commissioning of the new
Toptica fiber laser is going well and it is anticipated the project to complete, with the laser fully integrated, tested, and
ready for science.
- Keck I Laser: A new infrared tip/tilt (IR T/T) sensor will be available for Shared-Risk operation in 2016B. The details
of use and performance can be found at LGSAO with
TRICK or STRAP
- NIRC2 L-band vortex coronagraph will be available in 2016B for use on a Shared-Risk basis.
- NIRES will not be available in 2016B.
- OSIRIS will be unavailable for science from 01 January 2017 through 01 May 2017 for the imager detector upgrade.
- Due to primary mirror recoating, Subaru will not be available for use from early August to early October. Subaru will
offer FOCAS, HDS, MOIRCS (available in a Shared-Risk mode), IRCS (with NGS/LGSAO188 elements), and COMICS. Hyper Suprime-Cam
(HSC) will also be available during the following dark times: late Jul-early August, late Oct- early Nov, late Nov-early Dec,
late Dec-early Jan, and late Jan-early Feb. Suprime-Cam and FMOS will be unavailable in 2016B; FMOS is scheduled to be
decommissioned, but Suprime-Cam may return to availability in 2017A.
- For projects involving more than one Palomar telescope, submit the appropriate cover sheet for each
separately. The discussion, figures and observing list need be attached to only the cover sheet for the larger telescope.
- For Hale Telescope instruments, see P200 Observer Information. Private and Semi-private
instruments may be requested only with the prior approval of the instrument builder. Please include in the discussion a
confirmation that appropriate arrangements have been made.
- DBSP, LFC, WASP, WIRC and TripleSpec may be operated by remote observing. For additional information, see
- For information on the Palm 3000 system (P3K), see the P3K Observers information summary.
- P3K+SWIFT/AO and P3K+SWIFT/nonAO will be available on a Shared-Risk basis.
- Observers using the 200-inch telescope may request instruments to be installed simultaneously at the prime
focus and Cassegrain focus.
The use of a secondary instrument must be identified on the cover sheet and
fully justified in the proposal discussion. On the Cover Sheet, select the principal instrument to be used from
the drop-down lists on the Observing Time Preferences table and specify the secondary instrument in
the space provided under Additional Information. Secondary instruments should be requested only
if they are integral to the program and if there is a very high probability that they
will be used during the observing run.
- Proposals for 200-inch time in support of Large Projects may be submitted. See
Proposals for details. Please note that P200 Large Project policies have changed for the 16B solicitation.
New for 2016B P200 will support a "Cadence Observing" Program:
in 2016B we will be experimenting with a P200 "Cadence Observing"
program implemented entirely within the Caltech constituency. Such a
program is intended to monitor sources whose properties vary with time
(e.g. evolving supernovae or orbit), or make small numbers of short
individual observations that are poorly suited to execute in a single
night allocation. In this first semester we will select not more than
five (5) cadence programs of high merit to begin the trial program.
The program will be executed by scheduling short (i.e. under 60
minute) windows dedicated to cadence observations throughout the
semester. The observatory expects the selected project teams to
directly participate in cadence observations, primarily through remote
observing from 144 Cahill.
Proposals to the P200 cadence program should be short (max 1 page 11pt
font -- excluding P200 coversheet and target information), support a
single science theme, and request less than eight hours of total
observation time including instrument (focus) changeovers. To enhance
the likelihood of successful execution, targets should be relatively
bright (~ 16 mag or brighter), and use P200's core instrument suite
(DBSP, TSpec, WIRC, LFC/WaSP). Proponents should have previous demonstrated
experience with the instrument they are requesting, or include such
experience through collaboration.
- Palomar 60-inch Telescope - A share of the Science Time at the 60-inch may be allocated to
Caltech observers for general research. Please see
P60 Observer Information
for information on planning P60 observations.
In addition to the facility CCD camera, Caltech observers may request spectroscopic observations
using the SED Machine, which will be available on a Shared-Risk basis for spectroscopic
observations in 2016B; interested parties should contact Don Neill (email@example.com).
Please note that we anticipate the SEDM imager/Rainbow Camera transitioning to facility
status during 2016B.
- Oschin (P48) Telescope - Up to 20% of the time at the Oschin/P48 Telescope
(with the MOSAIC camera) may be allocated to Caltech observers for general research.
P48 Observer Information
for information on planning P48 observations. Note P48 operates in service observing only.
Note on Merging PDF Documents
Combine the cover sheet and discussion section (including the figures and observing list) of each proposal into a single pdf document.
For information on merging pdf documents, see PDF File Merging
Observing History and Bibliography
The Director and the Time Allocation Committee place a high premium on the effective use
of telescope time and the prompt publication of results derived from the observations. Accordingly, your report
accounting for your previous observing time and your publications constitutes an important adjunct to your
proposals. Submit this report as a single, two-part document consisting of:
- Observing History: List the observing time allocated to you for all projects in the last eight semesters
[2012B to 2016A, inclusive] and summarize the status of each. Provide:
Bibliography: Provide a bibliography of your refereed papers based on Keck (or from observing time awarded
through Keck trades) and/or Palomar data, published or submitted for publication during the last eight
semesters [2012B to 2016A, inclusive], even if you were not the principal investigator of the observing proposals.
- Telescope and proposal number.
- Instrument(s) used.
- Number of nights allocated and the number of nights useable.
- For ToO projects, give a comprehensive list of the interrupts invoked, including for each the date, telescope,
instrument and duration.
Attach the report (as a pdf document) to an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (not later than 5:00 pm PDT
Friday 01 April 2016.
Submit this report as a completely separate document. Do not include it in your proposal(s).
Instrumentation for the Keck Telescopes is summarized on the
WMKO Keck Instrument Page.
200-inch Telescope Instruments
Instrumentation for P200 is summarized on the
P200 Instrument Page.
If you propose to bring your own equipment to P200 please specify the
appropriate focus code [Prime Focus (OE-PF), Cassegrain (OE-Cass w/o P3K),
Cassegrain + P3K Base (OE-Cass w/ P3K), or Coudé (OE-Coudé)] on your
COO Proposal Call 2016B / v 1.0final2
Last updated: 25 March 2016 RJB/AFB/ACM