2. Observing cycles
AstroSat’s observing time is made available to any interested proposer through Announcements of Opportunity. In this first AO, 35% of observing time is available for AO proposals and 5% time for Targets of Opportunity (ToO). Rest of the 60% time in this cycle is allotted for payload teams and calibration.
2.1 AO cycle
AstroSat is operated in a pre-planned manner i.e proposers are not present at Mission Operations Complex during the execution of their observations. Thus, all observations must be specified in full details in advance.
- The percentage of observing time for executing AO proposals during Oct 2016 to September 2017 is ~35% and is termed as AO cycle.
- This 35% time is reserved for Indian scientists/ researchers residing in India and working at institutes/Universities/colleges in India. They could be interested researchers, scientists and astronomy community at large, involved in scientific research in the field of astronomy and are equipped to submit proposals as Principal Investigators (PIs) for specific target observations with necessary scientific and technical justification and can analyse the data, if the target is observed based on approvals.
- In order to expand the AstroSat user community, it is recommended that those who are submitting proposals as PIs in Guaranteed Time (GT) cycle, encourage other astronomers to be PI in AO proposals. If a proposer from a university, college or any institution submitting a proposal under AO cycle wishes to have a Co-I from any payload teams to get help in data analysis or needs support on science related issues, he/she may do so in consultation with the payload team leads as provided in the handbook.
- All the selected AO proposals will be inserted into the observing schedule. However, few observations approved in this AO cycle may be scheduled outside of the above period, in case there is operations requirement, which will be provided by AstroSat Mission.
- Proposers are requested not to duplicate any of the planned observations and should carefully justify duplications if any, with performed observations. Proposers have to check the list of objects and instrument parameters for observations already/ being carried out using AstroSat payload teams under guaranteed time cycle from March 2016 - September 2016. A Red book containing these targets is planned to be made available in the ISSDC website. Proposers wishing to observe any of these targets should justify why it is important to do so and what additional information will come from the proposed observations. See also section 4.
- Checks for duplications will be performed by ATAC while processing the proposals during the scientific review.
2.2 Targets of Opportunity (ToO) cycle
- Proposals that require observation of phenomenon like outburst of a supernova or nova, observation of a new transient source or X-ray nova or study of characteristics of a source when it makes transition to a different state etc. and for which one cannot predict in advance the time of occurrence, must be submitted as ToO (Target of opportunity) proposal and they will be reviewed by a separate ToO Committee.
- A ToO cycle is always open for submitting proposals at present for any Indian proposer. A provision of 5% observing time is reserved for ToO proposals.
- Data of observations made using a ToO proposal during the allotted ToO time will be made public immediately.
- If this time is not fully subscribed, it may be added to the time for the AO proposals.
- Anticipated ToOs are ToOs whose source position is known but time of observation is not known or unpredictable. The proposal for anticipated ToOs can also be submitted through APPS, which will be reviewed by ATAC committee. The scientific justification needs to be really strong to clear the proposal and also has to get priority “A” for acceptance (refer APPS proposer's guide available in AstroSat science support cell (ASC) website for details on anticipated ToOs and priority ranking for proposals). However when the event occurs, a ToO trigger proposal by the PI of the original proposal has to be submitted under ToO cycle to schedule the proposal. The data rights are same as that for AO proposals.