Caltech Optical Observatories

Call for Proposals - 2012B

Proposals Due by 5:00 pm PDT Monday 26 March 2012

This call is closed and provided for reference 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:

Proposal Format

  • When finished, combine your cover sheet with the Discussion, Figures and Observing List into a single pdf document (see note below). Check that the file is smaller that 1M and attach it to an e-mail to brucato-[at] not later than 5:00 pm PDT Monday 26 March 2012. The subject line of the message should be in the following form: [your last name]-[Telescope]-[A sequence number to distinquish it from others others submitted for the same telescope]. Examples: Jones-Keck-1 or Jones-P200-2

  • Special Notes:

  • Observing History & 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:

    Attach the report (as a pdf document) to an e-mail to (not later than 5:00 pm PDT Monday 26 March 2012) with the subject line in the following form: [your last name]-History. (For example: Jones-History) Submit this report as a completely separate document. Do not include it in your proposal(s).

    Special Observing Notes


    Keck Instruments

    Instrumentation for the Keck Telescopes is summarized on the WMKO Keck Instrument Page.

    200-inch Telescope Instruments

    Focus Instrument Code Notes

    Prime Focus
    Wide-Field IR Camera WIRC Specifications
    Large Format Camera LFC Specifications
    COSMIC - Direct Imaging COSMIC/D Specifications
    COSMIC - Re-imaging COSMIC/R Specifications
    Own Equipment - Prime Focus OE-PF Describe in Discussion

    Double Spectrograph DBSP Specifications
    Double Spectrograph/Polarimeter DBSPp Specifications
    PHARO PHARO-NGS Specifications Shared-risk observing. See Note 1.
    SWIFT SWIFT-NGS Specifications Shared-risk observing. See Note 1.
    P1640 P1640-NGS Private Instrument (Hillenbrand or Oppenheimer) Shared-risk observing. See Notes 1 & 3.
    TripleSpec TripleSpec Specifications See Note 2
    Cosmic Web Imager CWI Specifications Semi-private Instrument (Martin). See Note 3.
    f/9 Camera Base f/9 Cam Specifications
    Own Equipment - Cassegrain OE-Cass Describe in Discussion
    East Arm
    East Arm Echelle EAE Specifications


    1. P3K will be available in 2012B for science observing on a shared-risk basis. See comment in Special Notes above.
    2. WIRC, DBSP and TripleSpec may be operated remotely from Cahill on a shared-risk basis (Caltech observers only). For additional information, see Cahill Remote Observing Facilities
    3. Private and Semi-private instruments may be requested only with the prior approval of the instrument builder.

    Note on Merging PDF Documents

    To combine the cover sheet and discussion section of a proposal, use the full version of Acrobat (Acrobat Reader will not work) or the joinpdf program on the AY Unix computers. Also see

    Proposal pdf documents are typically 500K to 1M in size. Files larger than 1M are cumbersome to handle, so, if your proposal is larger than 1M, try reducing the resolution of your images.

    Semester 2012B COO Proposal Solicitation v09 Mar 2012
    09 March 2012 - RJB/AFB