[ASA] 2020B Anglo-Australian Telescope Call for Proposals
lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Fri Feb 14 14:36:49 AEDT 2020
2020B Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) Call for Proposals
The main proposal deadline for the AAT in Semester 2020B (August 2020 -
February 2021) is:
16 March 2020, at 17:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC + 11 hrs)
Proposals to the Australian Time Allocation Committee (ATAC) must follow the
ATAC Policies and Procedures
ac_policies.pdf> and be submitted before the deadline using the Lens
proposal form (https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/W_gcCmOxDQtjKOrxqsOy5bU?domain=aao.gov.au
Applying for AAT Telescope Time through ATAC
Important information: AAT is operated by a consortium of Australian
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 -
ATAC will rank all Open Time proposals by scientific merit, and time will be
allocated on this basis (subject to practical constraints) until the
available Open Time is fully allocated. More details are available in the
ATAC Policies and Procedures document
ac_policies.pdf> . Please note that this document was updated in February
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 86
nights available for new proposals in Semester 20B (19 dark, 32 grey, 35
- 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 18
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://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/ICb6Cp8AJQtnNYB2ZUJTdBT?domain=aat.anu.edu.au
- 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: anonymous-double blind review trial
The AAT Consortium places a high value on equity and integrity and is
trialling an implementation of the dual-anonymous proposal review process
for regular proposals in 2020B. In this process, the identities of the
proposing team are concealed from reviewers. The goal is to enable reviewers
to focus on the science, not the scientist. Several studies have shown that
a reviewer's attitude toward a submission may be affected, even
unconsciously, by the identity of the lead author or principal investigator
(see the Anonymous-Double Blind Review Annotated Bibliography
Proposers are required to anonymise their proposals following the guidelines
below. Sufficient care should be used, especially if resubmitting a proposal
from a previous cycle or other submission. Lead investigators should avoid
directly disclosing their identity in the science or technical justification
The names and affiliations will not be included in the proposals generated
for the ATAC reviews.
Anonymity Guidelines for Proposers.
These guidelines will help conceal the identities of the proposers and
ensure a fairer proposal evaluation process.
1. Do not include author names or affiliations anywhere in the
proposal text. This includes but is not limited to, page headers, footers,
diagrams, figures, or watermarks. This does not include references to past
work, which should be included whenever relevant (see below).
2. Referencing is an essential part of demonstrating knowledge of the
field and progress. When citing references within the proposal, use third
person neutral wording. This especially applies to self-referencing. For
example, replace phrases like "as we have shown in our previous work (Doe et
al. 2010)" with "as Doe et al. (2010) showed..." Do not refer to previous
projects using AAT or other observatories in an identifying fashion. For
instance, rather than write "we observed another cluster, similar to the one
we are proposing under AAT program #XXXXX," instead write "AAT program
#XXXXX has observed this target in the past..."
3. We encourage references to published work, including work citable
by a DOI. It may be occasionally important to cite exclusive access datasets
or non-public software that may reveal (or strongly imply) the investigators
on the proposal. We suggest proposers use language like "obtained in private
communication" or "from private consultation" when referring to such
potentially revealing work.
4. Do not include acknowledgements, or the source of any grant
Examples of re-worked text can be found on the The Space Telescope Science
Institute (STScI) website
A strict compliance with these guidelines is required. Feedback on these
changes are welcome and should be sent to the ATAC Technical Secretary (aat
- at - astronomyaustralia.org.au
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. We
anticipate that Veloce will be provisionally accepted by the Observatory
before semester 2020B starts, at which point the Observatory will review 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 <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/SP4MCANZvPiN3kzQ5TkoE9I?domain=aao.gov.au> available for Lens online, or
available via the FAQ tab in Lens itself.
All new users must register (https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/register
) with the system.
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, UNSW, USQ
and Australian Astronomical Optics (North Ryde). The Observatory is open to
help establish new remote observing stations.
If you have not used the instrument that you are scheduled for in the last
two years (either remotely or from site), then we require you to do the
observations from site.
How to Apply for AAT Time
Instrument status and policies
All ATAC applicants should check the latest version of ATAC Policies and
ac_policies.pdf> , the latest Instrumentation Status for the AAT
<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/oeCcCyoNVrcrzxR13tnMcCi?domain=aat.anu.edu.au> and recent
Policy Announcements <https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/y6a3CE8kz9t3JEN7jhD2A6e?domain=aat.anu.edu.au> .
Those seeking long term status should refer to the Long-term Programs
<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/4KJFCGvmB5i1pvQ79hmArHq?domain=aat.anu.edu.au> page. 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
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).
Important: Proposers should demonstrate that their team has the skills and
experience with the required observing modes to effectively conduct the
proposed observations. Please include this information under a separate
heading "Team Expertise and Background". Note the ATAC will conduct their
pre-grading without access to this section. Once the ranked list is set, the
ATAC will be given access to the "Team Expertise and Background" information
associated with each proposal recommended for implementation.
At this point, proposals may only be flagged for downgrade (resulting in a
non-selection of the proposal), if a team is clearly unqualified to
undertake the work proposed.
Proposals should be written so that the content and significance is
understandable by astronomers with different backgrounds. Proposals should
also be written using the Anonymity Guidelines.
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
New Opportunity: Guaranteed time on GSAOI/Gemini South in 2020B
The NGS2 is a new, more sensitive Tip-Tilt Wavefront Sensor for the Gemini
Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics systems (GeMS) that was constructed at ANU
for the Gemini-South 8m telescope. NGS2 allows the use of guide stars up to
at least one magnitude fainter than the current system, significantly
extending the number of astronomical objects that can be studied at high
angular resolution with GeMS. The NGS2 system also reduces target
acquisition overheads increasing the efficiency of science programs. The
system was successfully commissioned in October 2019. Part of the agreement
with Gemini for the NGS2 project is that there are to be 7 nights of
guaranteed time with GSAOI+NGS2 available for the Australian community to
use. This time will be allocated by ATAC in 2020B and 2021A. The Call for
Gemini Proposal for observations with this system will be released in early
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. The 2020B Call for
Proposals for Australian community on Blanco Telescope will be issued on the
20 February 2020.
Further details about the available nights and instruments can be found from
the last NOAO's 2020A Call for Proposals
<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/QE4fCK1qJZt2vVGokI8fFPw?domain=ast.noao.edu> . The new CTIO Call
for Proposals is due for release 01-March-2020 with the updated information.
Generally, 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 brightest nights.
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
), selecting "CTIO 4m" from the telescopes menu on the first page of the
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
E-mail: aat - at - astronomyaustralia.org.au
Dr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer
Astronomy Australia Ltd (Sydney Office)
E: lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au
<mailto:lucyna.chudczer at astronomyaustralia.org.au>
AAL is committed to equity and diversity and endeavours to create an
environment in which every individual is treated with dignity and respect.
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