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JMU Call For Proposals - Semester 2008B

1500 GMT 19 March 2008

(adapted from official notification to all JMU ARI staff)

Time available and deadline
The deadline for submission is 30 April 2008. The time available to eligible applicants allocated by the next JMU-TAG meeting will be about 150 hours for 08B (to be confirmed).

Proposal process
Applications are submitted in two phases:

Phase 1
Proposals are sent to the TAG outlining the science case for observation. See the Phase 1 page for instructions on how to prepare and submit your Phase 1 proposal. The above deadline applies to this phase. Please specify a "minimum usable fraction" (see below).

Phase 2
This is the observation specification phase. Successful proposals are entered into the observing queue with one of three rankings:

Rank Definition
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 Usable 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. 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 completion of priority A or B programmes.

There is generally additional time available for band C programmes, spread equally across all observing conditions. Some programmes may have time split between the above rankings.

Instrument availability
The instruments available are RATCam, SupIRCAM, RINGO, the Meaburn spectrograph (with a possibility of switching to FrodoSpec) and RISE.

  • RATCam is an optical CCD camera with a 4.6 x 4.6 arcmin field of view (0.135 arcsec/pixel unbinned).
  • SupIRCAM is an infrared camera operating at J or H band with a 1.7 x 1.7 arcmin field of view (0.4 arcsec/pixel).
  • RINGO is an optical polarimeter (4600-7200 AA at FWHM) that can measure polarization on timescales of ~10s.
  • Meaburn Spectrometer is a low dispersion spectrograph, using an input array consisting of 7 x 7 fibres (1.7 arcsecond): coverage of 3500-7000 AA in 4 wavelength ranges at ~4 AA resolution. (There is a possibility of proposals making use of FrodoSpec if it becomes available this semester but proposals should be able to use the Meaburn.)
  • RISE is a fast-readout camera. It has a fixed "V+R" filter and reimaging optics giving a 7 x 7 arcmin field of view. An e2V frame transfer detector is used to obtain a cycle time of less than 1 second.

RINGO and RISE are considered to be expert user instruments. Potential users should contact the LT Support Astronomer at 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.