The main proposal deadline for AAT time in Semester 14B (August 2014 - January 2015) is:
(Australian Eastern Daylight Time, i.e. UTC + 11 hrs).
Important notes for 14B applicants
- Time available for new proposals:
Because of existing Large Programs and other obligations, there are 73 nights available for new proposals in Semester 14B (14 dark, 37 grey, 22 bright). Details of existing Large Programs can be found on the long-term programs page.
- Large Programs in 2014B:
A call for Large Programs will not be made in Semester 14B. We anticipate the next call for Large Programs will be no earlier than Semester 15A. Proposals for long-term programs are welcome in 14B.
- Instrument upgrades during semester 14A:
AAO is planning to upgrade the CCDs in AAOmega during Semester 14A. It is expected that the quantum efficiency will be significantly higher in the red channel, and that both CCDs will be cosmetically improved. More details can be found on the instrument status page.
- HERMES status:
Following successful commissioning of the HERMES spectrograph during semester 13B, AAO is making it available as a general-user instrument starting in semester 14B. Questions about expected instrument performance should be directed to the HERMES Project Scientist, Gayandhi de Silva (gayandhi.desilva -@- aao.gov.au).
- KOALA status:
Starting in semester 14A, KOALA (Kilo-fibre Optical AAT Lenslet Array) is replacing SPIRAL as the integral-field capability to AAOmega. KOALA has a 2x areal increase in the field-of-view over SPIRAL (at the same spatial resolution), 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 performance can be found in the February 2013 AAO newsletter. Questions about expected performance should be directed to the KOALA instrument scientist, Andy Green (andrew.green -@- aao.gov.au).
- Remote observing:
Since Semester 13A the AAO has been encouraging remote observing from AAO headquarters as an option for all AAT instruments. Remote observing from the AAO's North Ryde headquarters has been successfully demonstrated for all facility instruments. We are developing a framework for offsite remote observing at a later stage, in order to allow astronomers across Australia to observe from their home institutions. Until that system is ready, observers who wish to travel to Sydney to carry out remote observations can continue to access the existing Travel and Accommodation support offered to AAT observers.
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 acess to a broader range of facilities. The f/8 secondary in the 4m Blanco telescope has been repaired and reinstalled. In Semester 14B, the DECam imager, the ISPI IR imager and the COSMOS spectrograph are available for Australian proposals. COSMOS is scheduled for commissioning in Semester 14A, and will consequently be offered in shared-risk mode in 14B. Imaging and longslit spectroscopy (slit width of 0.6" or 0.9") are available. All scheduled observations in 14B will be carried out in classical mode with observers required to travel to the telescope.
In Semester 14B there will be 5 nights available to the Australian community to apply for CTIO time.
Those who wish to apply for this time should do so using the regular AAT proposal form, selecting CTIO/DECam, CTIO/ISPI or CTIO/COSMOS in the "instrument" section. Links to the CTIO webpages for further information about the telescope and instrument capabilities are given below, and will also be available from 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.
- Proposal page limits:
ATAC reminds the community that page limits and formatting requirements for AAT proposals are strictly enforced. The main science case of your proposal should be no more than three pages long, with a maximum of two pages for the Science Case and a maximum of one page for Technical Justification. All figures and references must also fit within those three pages. Excessively long or dense proposals will be rejected without review. Please see the section "How to Apply for AAT Time" below for further guidance on the form and content of AAT proposals.
How to Apply for AAT Time - the Basic Steps
- All ATAC applicants should check the latest
Instrument Availability and
other recent policy announcements.
If you require further clarification on any
issue, then please contact the AAT Technical Secretary,
Sarah Martell (aatts -@- aao.gov.au).
- Special rules apply for proposals seeking time as an
override on another program's time,
as well as those seeking long term status.
Proposals requiring at most 6 hours of observing time should be submitted to
the AAO's Service Observing
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. The split into two pages science, plus one page technical, is a change from previous semesters. Those three pages should include all references and figures, use 11pt font (or larger), and have at least 10mm margins. Colour figures are accepted. There is a 2 Mb file-size limit on all three-page science case PDF uploads. Other document formats will not be accepted.
The limit for pre-approved Long-Term programs is five pages and 3 Mb file-size. Please contact the ATAC Secretary, Helen Woods (hmw -@- aao.gov.au) well in advance of submitting this kind of proposal.
The limit for pre-approved Large Observing Programs is ten pages and also 3 Mb file-size. Please contact the AAO Director (director -@- aao.gov.au) well in advance of submitting this kind of proposal.Care should be taken to ensure that your science case includes the following elements:
- Full Technical Details, outlining how you derived your time estimates, observing constraints, and any special requests should be included in the scientific case (no more than one page, preferably under a separate section heading).
- 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.
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 (A LaTeX template for a table of targets can be found here). There is a 2 Mb file-size and 2-page limit for this target list PDF file. Other document formats will not be accepted.
When your proposal details are ready, submit your
application to ATAC (by 5PM March 17, 2014) through the
AAT online proposal form.
Note that it is possible to Save a partially-completed form and return to it later.
However, we strongly recommend that you keep your own record of the information
entered into the form.
Observing semesters and closing dates:
|Semester||Observing Dates||Proposal Deadline||AATAC meeting|
|14B||1 Aug 2014 - 31 Jan 2015||17 March 2014||May 2014|
|15A||1 Feb 2015 - 31 Jul 2015||15 Sep 2014||Nov 2014|
Contacting the ATAC Secretariat:
|The Secretary, ATAC
Australian Astronomical Observatory
PO Box 915
North Ryde NSW 1670
|Phone: +61 (0)2 9372 4812||Fax: +61 (0)2 9372 4880|
Helen Woods (hmw -@- aao.gov.au)
Sarah Martell, AAT Technical Secretary, aatts -@- aao.gov.au