Call for Proposals: UC time on the Keck telescopes
August 11, 2016 (updated: August 31, 2016)
From: Claire Max, UC Observatories Director
First Semester 2017A
(February 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017)
Deadline: Proposals are due on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 by 5:00 p.m.
I. General Considerations, and New Policies for Time Domain Astronomy:
Proposals for UC observing time on the Keck Telescopes are due by 5pm on Friday, September 2nd, 2016.
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
Please see: http://www.ucolick.org/home/resources/observers/keck-instructions.html for the UC online
proposal submission process.
For Semester 2017A we expect a total of about 58 UC nights on Keck I and about 57 UC nights on Keck II; the
exact number is yet to be determined. 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: https://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/inst/PILogin/login.php
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: https://spg.ucolick.org/cgi-bin/TAC/login.cgi to create the rest
of your proposal as a PDF file to upload to the UC proposal server. Please note that the coversheet has been
modified this semester to help indicate Time Domain Astronomy (TDA) proposals – these are projects requiring
either Target of Opportunity or Cadence observing.
The Keck Science Steering Committee has approved a new policy related to Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals. For Semester 2017A, four Keck partners (UC, Caltech, UH, and NASA) have agreed that TACapproved Partnership ToO (TDA) projects will be able to interrupt observers at any of the four institutions, to increase the
utility of the ToO process. Time Allocation Committees should award Partnership ToOs only for highly ranked
programs. Please be sure to read the new policy before submitting a ToO proposal; the new policy can be found at
"Cadence Observing" consists of programs that include brief but ongoing synoptic monitoring of specific targets, or short observations of special events such as eclipses of planetary moons etc. In the past these observations have been
difficult to schedule because they are short (typically an hour or less) and must be fit in with other wholenight or
even halfnight projects. The Keck SSC has approved a new policy for Cadence observations that will facilitate this
process: https://www.ucolick.org/keckssc/public/20160622_public/keck_cadence_policy_FINAL.pdf . If you are considering submission of a Cadence Observing proposal, please read these guidelines carefully.
Large MultiYear Project (LMAP) programs are UC observing projects with welldefined 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 multiyear 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 http://www.ucolick.org/home/resources/observers/keck-lmap.html for current policies regarding LMAPs.
II. Notes on Instruments and Availability:
Please see the following web page for detailed notes on the availability of current instruments for 2017A: http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/observing/instavail.html . More detailed instrument descriptions can be found at http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/inst/index.php . Here is a summary of instruments that will be available:
Instruments available on Keck I for Semester 2017A are: HIRESb (blue crossdisperser) HIRESr (red cross disperser), LRISADC (red and blue, with ADC), LRISpADC (polarimeter, with ADC), OSIRISNGS (see OSIRIS2 note below), OSIRISLGS (see OSIRIS note below), and MOSFIRE.
Instruments available on Keck II Semester 2017A are: DEIMOS, ESI, ESIi (ESI with the Integral Field Unit),
NIRSPEC (without AO), NIRSPAONGS (NIRSPEC with Natural Guide Star AO), NIRSPAOLGS (NIRSPEC
with Laser Guide Star AO), NIRC2NGS, and NIRC2LGS. 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.
III. Notes on specific instruments:
Particular notes for each instrument can be found at http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/observing/instavail.html
Visitor Instruments: WMKO will not support any visitor instruments during semester 2017A.
Keck I Laser: A new infrared tip/tilt (IR T/T) sensor will be available for operation in 2017A. The details of use and
performance can be found in the following pdf document: http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/observing/LGSAO_with_TRICK_or_STRAP
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 SuprimeCam (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 http://www.subarutelescope.org/Observing/index.html for detailed
descriptions of these instruments, and see the website http://www.naoj.org/Observing/Proposals/Submit/call.html 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 2017A, Hyper SuprimeCam (HSC) availability is yet to be determined. Suprime Cam and FMOS
are unavailable in 2017A.
Keck LGSAO: A detailed set of guidelines for LGSAO nights and information on the capabilities of the systems
may be found on the LGSAO web page: http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/optics/lgsao/ . Backup programs for LGS
proposals are essential. Backup programs for LGS may be either NGS programs or nonAO (seeing limited)
NIRSPEC observations on Keck II or either NGSAO 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: http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/koa/public/koa.php for information on the archive, as well as the pdf document: http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/koa/public/KOA_data_policy.pdf for information on the KOA proprietary period
Claire Max, UCO Director