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Internal JMU TAG Call for proposals for the Liverpool Telescope, Semester 2011B 1200 GMT 21 March 2011

NEW: Any large or long-term proposals requesting more than 50 hours over one or more semesters may use 2 pages for their science case. This should include a brief summary of results obtained so far if this is a continuation of an existing program. In fact this primarily aimed at the continuing GRB, SNe, Novae programs.

Full details of the telescope, instrumentation and proposal submission are given on the Phase 1 page.

Time available and deadline

The deadline for submission is 15 April 2011. The time available to eligible applicants allocated by the next JMU TAG meeting will be about 200 hours for 11B (including over-allocation).

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. Please specify a "Minimum Usable Fraction" (see below).

Phase 2 is the 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 on 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 (& IO), FrodoSpec, RISE and RINGO2.

  • RATCam is an optical CCD camera with a 4.6 x 4.6 arcmin field of view (0.135 arcsec/pixel unbinned).
  • The optical camera of IO is expected to become available as an option during semester 11B. Proposals can be written making specific use of the larger field of view (10 x 10 arcmin) and additional filters, redshifted H-alpha, in comparison to RATCam if they wish.
  • FrodoSpec is an IFU spectrograph using an input array consisting of a 12 x 12 lenslet array (approx. 10x10 arcsec 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 7x7 arcmin field of view. An e2V frame transfer detector is used to obtain a cycle time of less than 1 second.
  • RINGO2 is a fast readout imaging polarimeter. Filter 460-720nm, field of view 4x4 arcmin.

Note that all instruments are now designated common user, but potential users are welcome to contact Phase 1 Support to discuss the capability of the instrument and feasibility of the observing programme well 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).

Ivan Baldry
LT JMU TAG chair