Caltech Optical Observatories
Call for Proposals - 2009B
This Call is CLOSED
Proposals Were Due Monday 30 March 2009
This Material Provided For Reference Only
Proposals for observing time in the second semester of 2009 will be accepted from the Caltech Faculty, Research Fellows, Research Associates, Post-Doctoral Scholars, Senior Research Staff and Students. Observing time will be allocated at the following telescopes:
Due date for proposals: Monday, March 30, 2009
To receive up-dates to this Call for Proposals, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word Updates in the subject line.
All Caltech Faculty, Senior Research Associates, Senior Research Fellows, Post Doctoral Scholars and Senior Research Staff are eligible to apply for observing time within Caltech allocations at the Keck Observatory and the Palomar Observatory. There is no restriction on the number of Palomar proposals that a researcher may submit. Similarly, Faculty and Senior Research Associates may submit any number of Keck proposals but Senior Research Fellows, Post Doctoral Scholars and Senior Research Staff are limited to one Keck proposal (as principal investigator) per semester. Students may apply for time at the 200-inch or 60-inch telescopes only. Applicants must be in residence at Caltech at the time proposals are submitted.
Each proposal should cover a single, coherent, well-defined scientific topic (do not submit a collection of unrelated projects as a single proposal) and should contain the following elements:
In addition, you should submit a single, two-part document in support of your proposals.
Attach your report (as a pdf document) to an e-mail to email@example.com (not later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 30, 2009) with the subject line in the following form: [your last name]-History. (For example: Kepler-History)
If your project involves the use of more than one telescope, you must submit separate cover sheets (which means separate emails) for each telescope. The descriptive material need be attached only to the proposal for the primary telescope. Important: Do not bury the cover sheets for the secondary telescopes within the primary proposal.
Within two days, you will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of each of your proposals. If you do not receive this confirmation, contact Robert Brucato at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Target of Opportunity Projects
The Caltech Optical Observatories supports its Target of Opportunity (ToO) program to enable its researchers to acquire data on unexpected, transient events by allowing interruption of regularly scheduled programs of Caltech observers at the Keck telescopes and the Palomar 200-inch telescope. In such cases, the observer at the telescope is obliged to set aside his or her program and make specific observations on behalf of the ToO researcher.
Details of the ToO Program:
To Apply for Keck Time
Follow the procedures at http://www.keckobservatory.org/observing.php Applying for Keck Telescope Time.
Keck is using an on-line system that features a password system 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. With this system, you will be able to
Keck will send announcements and account information to all observers with e-mail addresses within the Keck database; new observers or those who do not receive account information may request an account from the cover sheet page.
When finished, combine your cover sheet, the discussion and observing list into a single .pdf document (see note below) and attach it to an e-mail to email@example.com (not later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 30, 2009). The subject line of the message should be in the following form: [your last name]-[Telescope]-[Your priority for this project compared to others you are submitting for the same telescope] For example: Jones-Keck2-02
Important: One proposal per e-mail
The Keck web site provides numerous useful links to information you will need to prepare your proposal, including instrument availability, instrument specifications, etc.
To Apply for Palomar Time
Fill in the on-line cover sheet at http://www.astro.caltech.edu/cgi-bin/TAC/palcover.cgi Palomar Cover Sheet. When finished, combine your cover sheet, the discussion and observing list into a single .pdf document (see note below) and attach it to an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (not later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 30, 2009). The subject line of the message should be in the following form: [your last name]-[Telescope]-[Your priority for this project compared to others you are submitting for the same telescope]. For example: Jones-P200-02 .
Important: One proposal per e-mail
200-inch Telescope - Large Projects
The Director and the Observatory Council wish to encourage the large scale observing projects by individuals or teams of researchers that take advantage of the ability of the COO administration to make long-term commitments of observing time to utilize the facilities at the 200-inch telescope to attack problems that would be difficult to engage within the constraints of semi-annual allocations. Observing time granted for Large Projects will be distributed through the semester. If time is requested in subsequent semesters, the TAC may make provisional allocations. Requests to continue Large Projects should include a status report in the discussion. Large Projects already allocated time in two semesters must be completely resubmitted with a comprehensive status report if additional time is sought.
The PIs of Large Projects are obliged to contribute, intellectually and financially, to the COO's effort in support of Education and Public Outreach. The proposal discussion must include a clear statement of the provisions to satisfy this obligation.
Large Projects should:
200-inch Telescope - Instruments
The following table lists the instruments available for use in 2009B.
|Prime Focus||Wide Field IR Camera||WIRC||-|
|Large Format Camera||LFC||-|
|COSMIC - Direct Imaging||COSMIC/D||-|
|COSMIC - Re-imaging||COSMIC/R||-|
|Own Equipment - Prime Focus||OE-PF||Specify|
|Cassegrain||Adaptive Optics/PHARO - Natural Guide Star||AO/PHARO-NGS||-|
|SWIFT/non-AO||SWIFT||1. Shared Risk observing
2. Attached to the AO bench but AO not activated
|Adaptive Optics/SWIFT-NGS||AO/SWIFT-NGS||1. Shared Risk observing|
|Own Equipment - Cassegrain||OE-Cass||Specify|
|East Arm||East Arm Echelle||EAEchelle||-|
The private instruments listed in the following table may be requested by prior agreement with the contact named.
|IR Spectrograph||Keith Matthews|
|IR Camera||Keith Matthews|
The Palomar 60-inch telescope is now fully automated and may be used only with the dedicated 2Kx2K CCD camera. Twenty percent of the science time is available for general observing by Caltech researchers. Observing time should be requested by night, with the understanding that one night = 4.5 hours of science observing.
Successful applicants for 60-inch time will be asked to coordinate their programs with Shri Kulkarni and Fiona Harrison, who will manage the overall queue schedule. Observing targets will be scheduled by the software: a priori sequencing or specific time windows can be accommodated only in extraordinary circumstances; contact Fiona Harrison for details.
The Oschin Telescope
MOSAIC, a new CCD camera, has recently been installed in the Oschin Telescope and is presently undergoing commissioning tests. When in full operation, 80 percent of the observing time will be devoted to the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) project and 20 percent will be available to Caltech observers for individual projects. Depending on the progress of the commissioning, some time may be available in 2009B on a Shared Risk basis. These programs will be merged into the PTF observing queue to maximize the scientific yield from the telescope. If you wish to request observing time, indicated the number of nights required, assuming 4.5 hours of effective science observing per night.
Shared-Risk ObservingShared Risk Observing is a transitional phase between the final engineering tests of a new instrument and its use for general observing. This scheduling plan has the twofold goals of (a) allowing researchers to use the instrument to acquire scientific data for their programs and (b) allowing the instrument builders to check its performance in an operational environment. Observers using an instrument on a Shared Risk basis do so with the understanding that the builders may be present during the run and may need:
The Time Allocation Process
Proposals are evaluated by members of the TAC based on:
A few days after close of applications, PIs will receive spreadsheet summaries of all the applications received to check for errors or omissions in the entries for their proposals.
Starting with the highest ranked project, nights will be assigned according to the recommendations of the TAC and the applicant's stated preferences. If all available nights in the applicant's preferred and acceptable observing runs have been allocated to proposals with higher grades, no time will be assigned. By this process, it is conceivable that a proposal with restrictive dates will receive no time, while time may be allocated to a less restrictive proposal with a lower grade. In general, it is of benefit to the applicant to maximize the allocation possibilities by entering Acceptable whenever possible allowing for target position and season.
For Keck projects, the successful proposals and the allocations recommended by the TAC will be passed to CARA for scheduling. For the Palomar 200, the Caltech, JPL and Cornell allocations will be merged to achieve the final schedule.
Schedules should be available in early June, at which time the Director will send a memo to each PI summarizing the TAC results, allocations, and substantive comments made during the TAC discussions.
Note on Merging pdf Documents
To merge the two separate PDF files for your cover page and scientific justification, you will need to use a tool capable of writing PDF files. Acrobat Reader will not work, but the full version of Acrobat (to which Caltech has a site license) can be used. (In Acrobat 8, select "Combine Files" from the "File" menu.) Our Unix machines also contain the program "joinpdf", which can be used to combine two PDF files. For more details and links to other software for combining PDF files, see the web page: www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/mergepdf.html
18 February 2009 - RJB