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The NTAC Package


Creating the NTAC Package

The 2013B NTAC packages should be sent by 13 May 2013. These packages are delivered to Gemini via a secure (password-protected) ftp site. Each partner has an ftp account and password (contact Sandy Leggett or Lucas Fuhrman if you do not know your access information). The NTAC package must include a ranked list and the PIT XML files for all programs meriting consideration, as well as ALL joint components (whether awarded time or not). Starting in 2012B, a single proposal may request time on both Gemini North and South.

All proposals that may be considered by the ITAC must be included in the NTAC packages. Time allocations should be rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour (i.e., 6 minutes, time allocations to 100th of an hour cause rounding errors during the ITAC merging process). Details of time allocation (including zero-ing time), joint status and poor weather status can be adjusted at the ITAC, but the ITAC will NOT create new programs during the meeting. Because the ITAC will not create new proposals, the NTAC package should include any "backup" programs and failed joint components with 0 time allocation. It is possible for programs to be rejected or for time allocations to change at the ITAC meeting, so the NTACs should overfill their time allocation, where the overfilling uses poorer conditions (CC70 or worse, IQ85 or worse). Do not overfill the best observing condition bins (IQ20% or IQ70% with CC50%), or popular RAs. Other advice for optimum use of your time is given in the NTAC Evaluations page.

Finally, please run the proposal check script provided to all NGOs (contact Sandy Leggett or Lucas Fuhrman if the scripts package was not sent to you) on the entire NTAC package (the directory containing all the proposals) before it is uploaded. This script accesses all the XML files and checks for common problems. Please run this script and check the results BEFORE submitting the package.

Upload instruction:

  • After connecting to the ftp site, upload your package. It is easiest if the entire package is a tar or zip-compressed file. Each proposal and its attachments should be in a separate subdirectory; the naming convention for these folders can be anything you like as long as each is unique.
  • All programs, except for compensatory or guaranteed time proposals, should be in the same directory tree. Do NOT separate (for example) classical, poor weather or exchange proposals into separate directory trees.
  • Compensatory and Guaranteed time proposals should be in a separate directory tree (with individual sub-directories per proposal).
  • After uploading, send email to Sandy Leggett and Lucas Fuhrman. In your email, please comment on any "special" proposals or unusual situations that we should be aware of. Also, provide the name, email and phone # for a person that WILL BE AVAILABLE AND IN EMAIL CONTACT between mid- and end- May or November (for B or A semesters respectively) for resolving any issues or questions that may arise. The timeline between receiving the NTAC packages and conducting the ITAC is always very tight so your prompt cooperation is essential!