[ASA] 2019A Anglo-Australian Telescope Call for Proposals
travis.stenborg at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Wed Aug 29 14:00:12 AEST 2018
2019A Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) Call for Proposals
The main proposal deadline for the AAT in Semester 2019A (February 2019 -
July 2019) is:
22 September 2018, at 17:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC + 11 hrs)
Proposals to the Australian Time Allocation Committee (ATAC) must follow the
new ATAC Policies and Procedures (see
https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/policies) and be submitted before
the deadline using the Lens proposal form (https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/).
Applying for AAT Telescope Time through ATAC
Important information: AAT operations transferred to a consortium of
Since 1 July 2018, AAT operations have been managed and funded through a
consortium of Australian universities, led by the Australian National
University (ANU). Operating procedures for AAT observations following the
transition have changed little, with the exceptions that successful
applicants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs to
the observatory and will have more limited expert assistance on site.
Important information: Open Time and Paid Time on the AAT
Australian proposals may seek either Open Time or Paid Time on the AAT. A
proposal is Australian if at least half of the proposers and the lead
proposer are based at Australian institutions. Open Time is only available
to Australian proposals. There is no charge to Australian astronomers for
the use of Open Time. Paid Time is available to both Australian and
non-Australian proposals. Non-Australian proposals can only access Paid
Time, not Open Time. Inquiries regarding the terms and conditions for AAT
Paid Time can be made to Astronomy Australia Limited (info - at -
The time allocation procedure starts with ATAC ranking all proposals by
scientific merit, without regard to the Open Time or Paid Time status of the
proposal. Paid Time proposals will be allocated to Paid Time in order of
ATAC ranking (subject to practical constraints) until the available Paid
Time is fully allocated. The remaining Australian proposals will then be
allocated to Open Time in order of ATAC ranking (subject to practical
constraints) until the available Open Time is fully allocated. Paid Time
proposals always pay for time allocated.
More details are available in the ATAC Policies and Procedures document (see
Important information: proposal preparation
- Time available for new proposals: accounting for existing Large Programs,
Director's time and instrument commissioning, there are expected to be 159
nights available for new proposals in Semester 19A (55 dark, 37 grey, 67
- Due to the reduction in expert assistance at the telescope, proposers are
required to describe the relevant experience and expertise of the team with
the instrument(s) being applied for. Observers are encouraged to arrive
sufficiently in advance of their run to gain such training as is needed for
- The current Large AAT Program, the DEVILS survey, has been allocated 7
dark or grey nights at certain RAs. New programs with targets outside of
these RAs are more likely to be scheduled. The RA information for Large AAT
Programs is available at https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/long-term
- To help address issues associated with unconscious bias (e.g. see the
study at https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/LsrlCGvmB5iY8OzxhKvCnS?domain=arxiv.org) the format of the proposals has
been changed: (1) PI information will not be provided to ATAC, (2)
investigator information will be provided at the end of the proposal, (3)
the list of investigators will be sorted alphabetically, and (4)
investigators are required to use numerical citations for referencing. Lead
investigators should avoid directly disclosing their identity in the science
or technical justification sections. Feedback on these changes are welcome
and should be sent to the ATAC Technical Secretary (aat - at -
- Based upon historical weather trends, about 33% of time is lost to bad
weather. Proposers are therefore required to multiply their time requirement
by a factor of 1.5 to allow for time lost to weather.
Important information: instrument availability and upgrades
- Available AAT instruments include: 2dF+AAOmega, 2dF+HERMES and KOALA.
Additionally, Veloce will be offered on a shared-risk basis.
- HERMES will likely undergo two interventions on the cryostats, one in
2019A and another 2019B.
- IRIS2 has been decommissioned.
- SAMI will be been dismantled by 2019A, to prepare for commissioning of the
- Target of Opportunity mode is available with 2dF+AAOmega, 2dF+HERMES and
KOALA. The Target of Opportunity policy is available at
- Additional instrumentation status information is available at
Lens proposal submission system
All proposals should be submitted with the AAT's online application system
Lens (https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/home), which will open on the day this
call is made. This system is a user account based system, which allows for
improved security and better tracking of past and current proposals. There
is a FAQ available for Lens online (www.aao.gov.au/lens/faq), or available
via the FAQ tab in Lens itself.
All new users must register (https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/register) with the
Note that users cannot be added to proposals if they are not registered in
Lens. Please ensure that all investigators on a proposal have registered
well before the deadline!
For any queries or comments, please email: lens - at - aao.gov.au
Remote observing stations are available at ANU, ICRAR, Swinburne and
Australian Astronomical Optics (North Ryde). Remote observing is restricted
to experienced observers who have used the AAT in the past two years.
How to Apply for AAT Time
Instrument status and policies
All ATAC applicants should check the ATAC Policies and Procedures (see
https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/policies), the latest
Instrumentation Status for the AAT
(https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/instruments/current/status) and recent
Policy Announcements (https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/policies).
Those seeking long term status should refer to the Long-term Programs page
(https://aat.anu.edu.au/science/observing/long-term-rules). For further
clarification on any issue, please contact the ATAC Technical Secretary (aat
- at - astronomyaustralia.org.au).
If at least half the proposers and the lead proposer are from European
countries, they may apply for AAT time through the OPTICON program
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). Proposers
should demonstrate that their team has the skills and experience with the
required observing modes to effectively conduct the proposed observations.
Proposals should be written so that the content and significance is
understandable by astronomers with different backgrounds.
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 scientific ranking cut-off,
when some priority may be given.
After including overheads (detector readout, calibrations and telescope
slewing), observers are required to multiply their time request by 1.5 to
account for bad weather.
Any backup project must use the same instrument as the main project.
A list of the principal targets (field centres for 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
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. Numerical
referencing should be used (e.g. "as shown by .", instead of "as shown by
Smith et al. (2017)" ). Colour figures are accepted. Other document formats
will not be accepted.
Submitting your proposal
When your proposal details are ready, submit your application to ATAC
through Lens, the AAT's online proposal submission system. As noted above,
this is a user-account-based system and all investigators on a proposal must
The AAT Consortium requests all publications based upon data obtained
through the AAT include the following acknowledgement:
Based [in part] on data obtained at Siding Spring Observatory [via program
XXX]. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which the AAT
stands, the Gamilaraay people, and pay our respects to elders past and
AAO-CTIO time-swap arrangement
The AAO and NOAO/CTIO have 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 of CTIO
(Blanco) time available to the Australian community.
Further details about the available nights and instruments are expected with
the NOAO's 2019A Call for Proposals
(https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/5DQ-CJyp0qhrnAjGSGd3ZD?domain=ast.noao.edu), due for release
01-Sep-2018 (MST; UTC-7:00). Generally however, a uniform distribution of
lunations will be available to the Australian community. Note too that DECam
can produce useful imaging in the reddest filters (izY) on all but the very
All scheduled observations will be carried out in classical mode, with
observers required to travel to the telescope at their own expense.
How to Apply
Those who wish to apply for Blanco 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.
Contacting the ATAC Secretariat
PO Box 2100
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Dept. Physics & Astronomy
North Ryde NSW 2109
Phone: +61 (0)2 9850 6379
E-mail: aat - at - astronomyaustralia.org.au
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