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Extension of PATT deadline

Due to some problems with incoming email to the universtiy servers (2006-09-29), we are extending the PATT 07A application deadline. We will accept applications until 17:00BST on Monday 2nd Oct. We apologise for the inconvenience to anyone who has tried to submit applications this afternoon.

We are now accepting proposals for Semester 2007A (1-Feb-2007 to 31-Jul-2007).

94.8 hours are available to be allocated between the three instruments RATCam, SupIRCam and RINGO and a further 98 hours will be allocated to "backup" programmes.

There have been some changes to the phase 1 application procedure this semester, so please read the call carefully.


PATT Semester 2007A Call for Proposals

1700 GMT 30 August 2006

The Liverpool 2.0 metre fully robotic telescope sited at Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma, Canary Islands is now accepting proposals for Semester 2007A (1-Feb-2007 to 31-Jul-2007). In addition to the details given below, potential users are encouraged to review the detailed Phase 1 information of the LT website.

The full text of the 07A Call for Proposals, issued by Dr Pierre Maxted, Chair of PATT Liverpool Telescope allocation committee, is included below.

Headlines

  • Proposals should now specify a "minimum useable fraction" to aid scheduling.
  • A working auto-guider is available for use in semester 2007A.
  • RATCam, SupIRCam and RINGO (polarimeter) are available.

Time available and deadline

The time available to UK applicants through PATT is 94.8 hours
There are also a further 98 hours for lower priority programmes. (See "Rank C" below.)
The deadline for submission is 30 September 2006.
The deadline for submission has been extended to 17:00BST on Monday 2nd October 2006.

Proposal process

Applications are submitted in two phases:

Phase 1 - the science definition phase

    Phase 1 proposals are sent to the TAG outlining the science case for observation using specifically a robotic telescope. See the Phase 1 section of the LT web site for instructions on how to prepare and submit your Phase 1 proposal.
    • Please note that there is a new version of the LaTeX style file for PATT submissions for semester 2007A.
    • Please note the new requirement to specify a "minimum useable fraction" (see below).
Phase 2 - the observation specification phase
    The principal investigators of proposals that were successful in Phase 1 will sent instructions by the LT technical team on how to complete Phase 2 of the submission process.

Successful proposals are entered into the observing queue with one of three rankings.

A High priority programme. The TAC would like to see 100% completion of the observations.
B Medium priority programme. The TAC would like to see at least the MUF (Minimum Useable Fraction) of observations obtained, provided this does not impact of the completion of priority A programmes.
C Low priority programmes. These programmes are used to over-subscribe the observing queue so that the telescope is not idle. There is no guarantee that any observations will be obtained. If observations are started for a programme then the scheduling software should aim to obtain at least the MUF of the observations, but not at the expense of 100% completion of priority A or B programmes.

The MUF (minimum useable fraction) was introduced by the PATT TAC to help the LT technical team schedule observations effectively, e.g., to decide whether to finish the observations for one programme or to start a new programme that may not be completed. Proposers are asked to specify the MUF for their programme in the technical case of their phase 1 proposal. For example, the MUF can be used to specify that "any observations would be useable" (MUF=1%), or "a complete or nearly complete sample is essential to achieve the science goals" (MUF=90%). The TAC may revise the MUF of successful proposals if they feel this is appropriate.

Rank C proposals are used to over-subscribe the observing queue so that the telescope is not idle when other observing constraints do not allow progress to be made on any of the A or B grade proposals. PATT will allocate 98 hours of telescope to rank C proposals in semester 2007A in additional to the 94.8 hours of time allocated to be to rank A and B proposals.

Instrument availability

The instruments available are RATCam, SupIRCam and RINGO.
  • RATCam is an optical CCD camera with a 4.6 x 4.6 arcmin field of view.
  • SupIRCAM is an infrared camera operating at J or H band with a 1.7 x 1.7 arcmin field of view.
  • The RINGO polarimeter is an JMU Astrophysics Research Institute internally-funded instrument. It is an expert user instrument. Potential users should contact the LT Support Astronomer, Chris Moss (ltsupport_astronomer@astro.livjm.ac.uk) directly to discuss the capability of the instrument and feasibility of the observing programme before submitting an observing proposal.

Telescope performance

The current rms pointing of the LT is 6 arcsec.

The current tracking performance provides seeing-limited images (FWHM < 0.8 arcsec) for exposures up to 1 minute without the auto-guider (open loop) and up to 30 minutes with the auto-guider (closed loop). Individual exposures with the auto-guider are limited to 30 minutes.

Telescope availabilty and reliability

There is presently one week of scheduled engineering maintenance anticipated on the LT during semester 07A, though the exact dates have not yet been set. The following table reports the downtime, both weather and technical faults, for the present semester, 06B.

2006 Observing Weather Downtime Comments
(Hours)(Hours)(Hours)
February 128.8139.416.4
March 175.7 51.535.8
April 143.7 86.521.4
May 141.1 23.766.1
June 122.6 3.628.6Plus 8 days for major engineering work
July 187.8 8.427.1

We welcome applications for all available observing modes, conditions and RA ranges, particularly those that take advantage of the robotic nature of the LT.

    Dr Pierre Maxted,
    Chair, PATT Liverpool Telescope allocation committee.