Call for Keck Observatory Proposals


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Call for Keck Proposals


Second Semester 2015B (August 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016)

Proposals are due on Friday ,March 13, 2015

Please see for instructions on using the on-line process.The application process will end promptly at

5:00 P.M. on Friday, March 13, 2015

Looking ahead: Proposals for First Semester 2016A (Feb. 1, 2016 - July 31, 2016) will be due September 11, 2015.

Keck is continuing the login-password system to allow you to retrieve and modify your coversheets. Returning observers should use the same account information as last semester. New observers may request an account from the login page.

We expect roughly 60 UC nights total on Keck I and 55 nights on Keck II.

Please see the Instruments Available web page for detailed notes on the current instruments:

Instruments available on Keck 1 are:

  • HIRESb (blue x-disperser)
  • HIRESr (red x-disperser)
  • LRIS-ADC (red and blue, with ADC)
  • LRISp-ADC (polarimeter, with ADC)
  • OSIRIS-LGS (see LGS below)

Instruments available on Keck 2 are:

  • ESI
  • ESIi (ESI with the Integral Field Unit)
  • NIRSPEC (without AO)
  • NIRSPAO-NGS (NIRSPEC with Natural Guide Star AO)
  • NIRSPAO-LGS (NIRSPEC with Laser Guide Star AO; see LGS below)
  • NIRC2-LGS (see LGS below)
  • NIRES (see note below)

Subaru Time Exchange Instruments are:

Suprime-Cam (limited), FOCAS, HDS, MOIRCS (limited), IRCS (with NGS/LGSAO with 188 elements), FMOS, COMICS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam (limited, shared risk). See below for limitations.

Particular notes for the 2015A semester follow:

Visitor Instruments: WMKO will not support any visitor instruments during semester 2015A.

NIRES: WMKO anticipates NIRES being available on Keck II for shared risk science during 2015A.

NICR2: NIRC2 will be unavailable for a three to five week period beginning in mid-February for the installation of a vector vortex coronagraph.

DEIMOS: DEIMOS will undergo a servicing mission beginning in January 2015 and will be unavailable until approximately 15 February 2015.

Suprime-Cam (limited), FOCAS, HDS, MOIRCS (limited), IRCS (with NGS/LGSAO with 188 elements), FMOS, COMICS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam (limited) at Subaru: Through an exchange with the Subaru Observatory, several nights may be available to observers who would like to use any of these instruments. Please check the Subaru web site for detailed descriptions of these instruments and the Subaru Call for Proposals for instrument restrictions, particularly for S-Cam and MOIRCS. Subaru time may be traded for time on both Keck telescopes, the exact number of nights depending both on the Keck and the Subaru demand. Neither Keck nor Subaru will support Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations during the exchanged nights. All observations will be executed in the "classical" observing mode. During semester 2015A Hyper Suprime-Cam is being offered to the Keck community for a maximum of three nights in a shared-risk mode.

LGS-AO: For semester 2015A there will be no restrictions on the number of LGS nights nor their distribution between telescopes. NIRC2, OSIRIS, and NIRSPAO with laser guide star adaptive optics will be available. A more detailed set of guidelines for these nights and information on the capabilities of the systems may be found on the LGS-AO page. Backup programs for LGS proposals are essential. Backup programs for LGS may be either NGS programs or non-AO (seeing limited) NIRSPEC on Keck II. Non-AO NIRSPEC is not available when NIRSPEC is in the AO configuration.

NIRSPAO: NIRSPAO is scheduled in campaign mode given limited demand for this configuration. If there are insufficient requests for its use, NIRSPAO may not be scheduled in a given semester.

Keck Observatory Archive: Data from all instruments will be archived in the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). The default proprietary period for all data is 18 months. If observers desire a different proprietary period they may request this through the Keck coversheet. The Keck Observatory's KOA homepage has information about the archive and the KOA proprietary period policy.

Please read this paragraph: The principal consideration in evaluating proposals will be the scientific merit of the proposed project. Projects which take maximum advantage of the unique capability of the Keck Telescopes will be given high weight. A brief description should be given of backup programs that will be carried out if conditions are not suitable for the primary program.

The coversheet form is available through the Keck Observer Login webpage. Please attach your scientific justification.


Claire Max,
UCO Interim Director