Call for Proposals: UC time on the Keck telescopes

To: Observers on the Keck telescopes
From: Claire Max, UCO Director
Date: February 10th, 2017 

Second Semester 2017B
(August 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018)

Deadline: Proposals are due on Friday, March 10, 2017 by 5:00 p.m.

1.0 General Considerations
1.1 Due Date and Proposal Process
Proposals for UC observing time on the Keck Telescopes for Semester 2017B are due by 5pm on Friday, March 10th, 2017. The principal consideration in evaluating proposals will be the scientific merit of the proposed project. Projects that take maximum advantage of the unique capabilities 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. Please see: for the UC online proposal submission process.

For Semester 2017B we expect a total of about 59 UC nights on Keck I and about 55 UC nights on Keck II. 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:

The coversheet form is available through the login page link above. Once you have created a coversheet, please go to the instructions for submitting Keck proposals at: to create the rest of your proposal as a PDF file to upload to the UC proposal server. Note that the coversheet has been modified again this semester, so please pay close attention when filling it out. Last semester, in 2017A, modifications were made to take into account Time Domain Astronomy (TDA) proposals – these are projects requiring either Target of Opportunity or Cadence observing. For Semester 2017B, four Keck partners (UC, Caltech, UH, and NASA) have agreed that TAC-approved ToO (TDA) projects will be able to interrupt observers at any of the four institutions, to increase the utility of the ToO process. Please be sure to read the new policy before submitting a ToO or Cadence proposal:

1.2 Changes to the Technical Remarks Section
Starting this Semester, 2017B, there are changes to the Technical Remarks section, including a new page limit. Proposers are also invited to include an optional, but highly recommended section describing their activities in the service of UCO. These changes are described at

Large Multi-Year Project (LMAP) programs are UC observing projects with well-defined scientific objectives that require a large number of nights to bring to completion (normally 10 or more nights per semester). The UC LMAP program allows projects extending for more than one semester to be carried out with multi-year approval from the beginning. LMAPs will generally be directed toward obtaining a high quality, coherent, homogeneous data set that will allow scientific questions of major importance to be addressed in a thorough, systematic manner. Please consult for current policies regarding LMAPs.

2.0 Notes on Instruments and Availability
Please see the following web page for detailed notes on the availability of current instruments for 2017B: Instrument descriptions are at Here is a summary of instruments that will be available:

Instruments available on Keck I for Semester 2017B are: HIRESb (blue cross-disperser), HIRESr (red cross-disperser), LRIS-ADC (red and blue, with ADC), LRISp-ADC (polarimeter, with ADC), OSIRIS-NGS (see OSIRIS note in following section), OSIRIS-LGS (see OSIRIS note in following section), and MOSFIRE. OSIRIS-NGS/LGS is available with the use of TRICK, the infrared tip-tilt sensor.

Instruments available on Keck II for Semester 2017B are: DEIMOS, ESI, ESIi (ESI with the Integral Field Unit), KCWI shared risk beginning mid-August, NIRSPEC (without AO), NIRSPAO-NGS (NIRSPEC with Natural Guide Star AO), NIRSPAO-LGS (NIRSPEC with Laser Guide Star AO), NIRC2-NGS, and NIRC2-LGS.

Subaru and Keck will continue their exchange of nights as in past semesters, with the number of exchange nights being determined by the demand of both institutions. You will find further details below.

3.0 Notes on Specific Instruments
Visitor Instruments: WMKO will not support any visitor instruments during semester 2017B.

Keck I Laser: A new infrared tip/tilt (IR T/T) sensor will be available for operation in 2017B. The details of use and performance can be found in the following pdf document:

OSIRIS Note: OSIRIS will be unavailable until May 2017, in order to upgrade the OSIRIS imager.

Time exchange with Subaru: FOCAS, HDS, MOIRCS (shared risk), IRCS (with NGS/LGSAO with 188 elements), COMICS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam (limited) will be available. Through an exchange with the Subaru Observatory, exchange nights may be available to observers who would like to use any of these instruments. Subaru time may be traded for time on both Keck telescopes; the exact number of nights will depend both on the Keck and the Subaru demand. Please check the Subaru website for detailed descriptions of these instruments, and see the website for instrument restrictions, particularly for MOIRCS. Neither Keck nor Subaru will support Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations during these exchanged nights. All observations will be executed in "classical" observing mode. During semester 2017B, Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) availability is yet to be determined. Suprime-Cam and FMOS are unavailable in 2017B.

Keck LGS-AO: A detailed set of guidelines for LGS-AO nights and information on the capabilities of the systems may be found on the LGS-AO web page: Backup programs for LGS proposals are essential. Backup programs for LGS may be either NGS programs or non-AO (seeing limited) NIRSPEC observations on Keck II or either NGS-AO programs or HIRES on Keck I.

NIRSPAO will be 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.

KOA (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. Please see the KOA homepage: for information on the archive, as well as for information on the KOA proprietary period policy.

Sincerely yours,
Claire Max, UCO Director