Palomar Observatory

Keck Observatory

Caltech Optical Observatories

Caltech Astronomy

California Institute of Technology

Keck Travel Support

Caltech researchers are strongly encouraged to consider Remote Observing in the Cahill Remote Observing Facilities whenever possible. However, in exceptional circumstances, Caltech Optical Observatories (COO) has limited resources to support travel to Hawaiʻi for eligible observers using the Keck telescopes.

Eligibility Requirements/Qualifications

  • The observer must be affiliated with Caltech at the time of the observing run.
  • The observer must have no other sources of support (grants, stipends, mentor financial support, etc.) for such travel.
  • The observing must be in support of a Caltech project; that is, in observing time allocated by the COO Director. Caltech observers collaborating with principal investigators from other institutions and/or awarded Keck time through other constituencies are not eligible for COO travel support.
  • Support will be provided for only one person per observing run (additional personnel can participate remotely using Remote Observing Facilities at Caltech or other locations).
  • The observer must make the case that Cahill Remote Observing Facilities are unsuitable for the subject observing run (e.g. inexperienced observer, first use of instrument, etc).

Support Levels

The level of support will depend on the length of the observing run:

RunMaximum Support
1 night$1000
2 nights$1100
3 or more nights$1200

Support Requests

Requests for travel support should be submitted at least three weeks prior to the observing run to Andy Boden, and include the following:

  • Observer name and Caltech department.
  • Principal investigator name and Caltech department.
  • Date(s) of the observing run and telescope/instrument to be used.
  • Request justification narrative (max 1-page, including compliance statements for all eligibility requirements, and in-person vs remote observing justification)
  • Students and postdocs should also include a statement from their mentors indicating that no support is available to finance the requested travel.


  • Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the observer. Check with your group administrator or department secretary for assistance.
  • Caltech's policies governing travel apply to support under this program. See http://procurement.caltech.edu/departments/purchasinghome/travelhome for details.
  • Requests for travel advance and travel reports are to be sent directly to the Caltech Travel Office for processing; copies to the Caltech Optical Observatories Office, M/S 11-17. Contact Linda Donnelly (395-4003 or email) for the appropriate account number.

Again, Cahill Remote Observing is strongly encouraged at an alternative to Keck travel.

COO Keck Travel Page / v 0.26
Last updated: 14 February 2014 ACM