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Internal JMU TAG Call for 2010A Proposals

1500 BST 7 September 2009 Time available and deadline

The deadline for submission is 15 October 2009. The time available to eligible applicants allocated by the next JMU-TAG meeting will be about 100 hours for 10A, including over-allocation.

Proposal process

Applications are submitted in two phases:

Phase 1 - science definition

Phase 1 proposals are sent to the TAG outlining the science case for observation. See here for full instructions on how to prepare and submit your Phase 1 proposal. Please be sure to specify a "Minimum Usable Fraction" (see below).

Phase 2 - observation specification phase

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

A High priority programme. The TAG would like to see 100% completion of the observations.
B Medium priority programme. The TAG 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, 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). Note: SupIRCam will be decommissioned after semester 10A.
  • FRODOSpec is the new IFU spectrograph using an input array consisting of an 11 x 11 lenslet array (0.93"x0.93" each, i.e., 10"x10" field of view). The wavelength coverage is 3800-10000Å at R ~ 2400 in one exposure (using two beams), or using reduced wavelength coverage in each beam at R ~ 5400.
  • 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 (optical polarimeter) is unavailable during semester 10A while being upgraded. FRODOSpec is currently an expert user instrument. Potential users should contact the LT Support Astronomer directly to discuss the capability of the instrument and feasibility of the observing programme before submitting an observing proposal. You are welcome to contact the support astronomer for other instruments as well. Full information on the instruments is available here.

New Routine Standards Regime

Beginning in semester 2010A, standard stars will only be observed routinely with RATCam, in B, V, r, i and z; standards in g, U and Hα will no longer be taken. Standards for the other instruments (RISE, SupIRCam, FRODOSpec and RINGO) will not be taken routinely. Observers who wish to observe standards other than the ones routinely taken by RATCam will need to include those observations in their own programmes.

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 autoguider (open loop), and up to 30 minutes with the autoguider (closed loop). Individual exposures with the autoguider are limited to 30 minutes.

Ivan Baldry
LT JMU TAG chair