[ASA] AAT Call for Proposals - Semester 2016B - deadline 5PM, 15 March 2016

AAT Tech Secretary aatts at aao.gov.au
Mon Feb 15 10:00:50 AEDT 2016

2016B    AAT Call for Proposals

The main proposal deadline for AAT and CTIO time-swap time in Semester 2016B (August 2016 - January 2017) is:

Tuesday, 15 March 2016, at 17:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time, i.e. UTC + 11 hrs

Proposals to ATAC can be submitted until the deadline using the new Lens proposal form and are welcomed from all astronomers worldwide.

Applying for AAT Telescope Time through ATAC

Important information for applicants

Time available for new proposals: because of existing Large Programs and other obligations, there are roughly 88 nights available for new proposals in Semester 16B (32 dark, 32 grey, 24 bright).
A separate call for Large AAT Programs <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/aat-large-programs> has been made for programs starting in 2016B. More information is available at this link <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/apply-for-observing-time>.
Proposals for Long Term AAT Programs <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/long-term-rules> are welcome in 2016B.
Based upon historical weather trends, about 33% of time is lost to bad weather. Proposers are therefore required to multiply their request by a factor of 1.5, to allow for time lost to weather.
New proposal submission system

The AAO has moved to a new proposal submission system, known as Lens <https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/home>. This system is a user account based system, which will allow for improved security and better tracking of past and current proposals. There is an FAQ available for Lens, available via the FAQ tab in Lens itself, or via the direct link http://www.aao.gov.au/lens/faq <http://www.aao.gov.au/lens/faq> .

Users who have applied for time as PI in the previous semesters (i.e. starting from 2013A to 2014B) have had accounts pre-configured and will have received an email with their login details. Users that applied for time from 2015A will also have a Lens account.

All other users are encouraged to register with the system at https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/register <https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/register>
Note that users cannot be added to proposals if they are not registered in Lens. Please make sure that all investigators on a proposal have registered well before the deadline!

For any queries or comments, please email lens at aao.gov.au .

Instrument status

HERMES will not be available for use during August to mid-October 2016 while its dewars and detectors are upgraded. Minor changes to the default observing setup, if any, will be made available in September.
From 2016A SAMI is now supported as a general-user instrument.
UHRF has been decommissioned.
IRIS Multi-object Spectrograph (MOS) mode has been decommissioned.
SAMI status

SAMI is now a general-user instrument. SAMI is the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral-field unit that feeds the AAOmega spectrograph. SAMI provides 13 fibre-based IFUs called 'hexabundles', each with a field of view of 15 arcseconds and are deployed by plug plate anywhere within a 1-degree field of view using the AAT's Prime Focus top end. For further information about observing with SAMI, see this website <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/instruments/sami>, or contact the SAMI instrument scientist Julia Bryant (julia.bryant at aao.gov.au) . Note, the 2dFDR data reduction pipeline has been tested using the AAOmega gratings that are used for the SAMI survey (580V and 1000R), but has not been tested with other AAOmega gratings.

HERMES status

HERMES is now a general-user instrument.  HERMES <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/instruments/current/HERMES> is a four-channel, bench-mounted high-resolution spectrograph for use with the 2dF top end. The wavelength ranges of the four channels are fixed at 4715-4900 Å, 5649-5873 Å, 6478-6737 Å and 7585-7887 Å. The spectral resolution is nominally R~28,000, which can be raised to R~45,000. Questions about expected instrument performance should be directed to the HERMES instrument scientist, Gayandhi De Silva (gayandhi.desilva at aao.gov.au).

KOALA status

KOALA (Kilo-fibre Optical AAT Lenslet Array) has replaced SPIRAL as the integral-field capability to AAOmega. KOALA has a selectable spatial resolution of 0.7"or 1.25", an increase in throughput at all wavelengths, particularly at the extreme blue, and simplified field rotation. Information on KOALA <http://www.aao.gov.au/science/instruments/current/koala/overview> can be found in the instrumentation page and a new exposure time calculator is available. Questions about expected performance should be directed to the KOALA instrument scientist, Ángel López-Sánchez (angel.lopez-sanchez at aao.gov.au).

Remote observing

Since Semester 13A, remote observing from the AAO's North Ryde headquarters has been available as an option for all AAT facility instruments. Observers who wish to travel to Sydney to carry out remote observations can continue to access the existing Travel and Accommodation <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/travel> support offered to AAT observers. From semester 16B, it will be possible to observe remotely from the remote observing facilities at the ANU and ICRAR. Use of these facilities will be restricted to experienced observers who have used the AAT in the past five years. Observers wishing to use these facilities will not be eligible for travel support from the AAO. 

Service time

If projects require fewer than 6 hours of observing time, they can be performed in service time. Applications for service time are made electronically direct to the AAO and are now accepted year-round. See the AAT Service Observing <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/apply/service> page for more details.


The AAO requests all publications based upon data allocated through the AAO include the following acknowledgement:

Based [in part] on data acquired through the Australian Astronomical Observatory, [via program XXX].

Applying for CTIO time-swap Time through ATAC

AAO-CTIO time-swap arrangement

The AAO and NOAO/CTIO have initiated a time-swap arrangement, to allow our respective communities to maximise their scientific opportunities through access to a broader range of facilities.

This semester there will be 5 nights available to the Australian community to apply for CTIO time.

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) has been allocated 101 nights during the 2016B semester, and this time is concentrated in the months of September through November, with second half nights scheduled during August and the first half of September, and first half nights scheduled from late December through January.  Thus only a very few nights remain available to non-DES programs during these same periods so that is hard to schedule any but the most highly ranked programs in these periods. 

Generally a uniform distribution of lunations will be available to the Australian community. This uniform distribution is particularly important in B semesters (especially Sept-Nov) due to existing CTIO commitments. Note, DECam has been demonstrated to produce useful imaging in the reddest filters (izY) on all but the very brightest nights. 

All scheduled observations will be carried out in classical mode with observers required to travel to the telescope. The International Telescopes Support Office (ITSO) at the AAO has secured funding via Astronomy Australia Ltd to reimburse the costs of Australian CTIO PI observer travel to Chile, on a similar basis to the way Australian Magellan observers are funded.

Note, starting from 2016 only 5 CTIO nights per semester will be available through the AAO.

Instruments available 

The DECam imager, the TripleSpec4 ARCoIRIS IR spectrograph and the COSMOS spectrograph are available for Australian proposals. COSMOS is available in an imaging, longslit and multi-object spectroscopy modes. Information about the new IR spectrograph is available at this webpage <http://www.ctio.noao.edu/noao/content/Arcoiris>.

Please review Current CTIO Instrumentation Status <http://www.ctio.noao.edu/noao/content/instruments-telescope#blanco> and CTIO Telescope Information <http://www.ctio.noao.edu/noao/content/Instruments> for more information.

How to apply

Those who wish to apply for this time should do so using the Lens proposal system, selecting "CTIO 4m" from the telescopes menu on the first page of the proposal form. 

The standard proposal page limits and recommendations regarding technical justifications should be followed. The proposals will be assessed by ATAC, and graded proposals provided to CTIO for scheduling.

How to Apply for AAT Time - the Basic Steps

Instrument status and policies

All ATAC applicants should check the latest Instrument Availability <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/instruments/current/status> and recent Policy Announcements <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/policies>. If you require further clarification on any issue, then please contact the AAT Technical Secretary Lee Spitler (aatts at aao.gov.au).

See Special Override Rules <http://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/policies/overrides-at-the-aat> for proposals seeking time as an override on another program's time and the Long Term Program <http://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/long-term-rules> page for those seeking long term status. Proposals requiring at most 6 hours of observing time should be submitted to the AAO's Service Observing <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/apply/service> program.

If the PI, and at least half the observing team are from European countries, they may apply for AAT time through the OPTICON program <https://www.aao.gov.au/science/observing/Opticon-trans-national-access-program-at-the-AAO>.

Proposal content

Full Technical Details, outlining how you derived your time estimates, observing constraints, and any special requests should be included in the scientific case (preferably under a separate section heading).

Proposals should be written such that the content and significance is understandable by a wide range of astronomers. 

If your proposal seeks time on two instruments, outline carefully the relative requirements of the different instrument set-ups, including the split in observing time between the instruments.

If the observations are essential to the completion of a student's PhD thesis, then a full explanation must be given in the science case. No special consideration is given to proposals involving PhD students, except when attempting to schedule proposals near the cut-off, when some priority may be given.

After accounting for overheads (detector readout, calibrations and telescope slewing), observers are required to factor in an additional 50% to account for bad weather.

All applicants should be aware that it is the policy of the AAO that any backup project must use the same instrument as the main project.

A list of the principal targets (field centres for AAOmega+2dF programs) should be prepared as a separate PDF document. The target list should contain target name, RA (h m s), Dec (d m s), target brightness, and priority. There is a 2-page limit for this target list PDF file. Other document formats will not be accepted.

Proposal submission details

Prepare your main proposal offline, including an abstract, target list, science case, and technical justification. The science case and technical justification together should be, in PDF format, no more than three pages total, with two pages for the science case and one page for technical justification. Those three pages should include all references and figures, use 11pt font (or larger), and have at least 10mm margins. Colour figures are accepted. Other document formats will not be accepted.

Applicants seeking Long Term status may be allowed to submit up to five pages, provided prior permission is obtained well in advance from the ATAC Secretary, Helen Woods (helen.woods at aao.gov.au).

Submitting your proposal

When your proposal details are ready, submit your application to ATAC through Lens, the AAT's new proposal system. As noted above, this is a user-account-based system and all investigators on a proposal must be registered.

Contacting the ATAC Secretariat 

The Secretary, ATAC
Australian Astronomical Observatory
PO Box 915
North Ryde  NSW 1670
Phone:  +61 (0)2 9372 4800    Fax:  +61 (0)2 9372 4880
Email enquiries:  Helen Woods (helen.woods at aao.gov.au)


Lee Spitler

AAT Technical Secretary

Senior Lecturer
Australian Astronomical Observatory &
Macquarie University

Sydney, Australia
P:  +61 (2) 9850 4161

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