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Semester 2002A Overview and Call for Proposals

Semester 2002A Overview and Call for Proposals

caution Please read an important revision to the amount of time available (12 Dec 01)


Proposals are invited for observations in semester 2002A (1 Feb 2002 - 31 July 2002) with Gemini North and Gemini South. Here we give an overview of the capabilities offered and other proposal guidelines and restrictions.

Proposal Deadlines and Process

Applications should be submitted via your national Gemini proposal process. The submission deadline varies slightly from country to country, in the range 30 September - 19 October 2001 [US, UK, Australia 30 Sept.; Univ. Hawaii 1 Oct; Canada 4 Oct.; Argentina, Brazil Oct 5.; Chile Oct 19]. Specific details for each partner country can be found by following the links to National Gemini Office pages in the Phase I overview.

For partner countries using the Phase I Tool, a new version of PIT is available.

The assessment and ranking of proposals within each partner country will be via National Time Allocation Committees (NTACs) supported by the National Gemini Offices. Assembly of the 2002A schedule and queue, definition of scientific ranking bands and resolution of conflicts by the ITAC will follow the procedures described in the Phase I overview and the proposal process schedule. All data will be subject to the normal Gemini proprietary data period of 18 months.

If submitting a program that uses both telescopes, the capabilities and time requested on each telescope must be stated clearly in the proposal. This is required because the National Gemini Offices will transmit separate XML files for Gemini North and Gemini South to Gemini Observatory for scheduling. Proposals may include the use of multiple instruments.

 

Gemini North: Instrument Availability

caution Note that all capabilities in semester 2002A are being made available on a shared-risks basis (see the definition of shared risks).

Instruments available in this semester are listed below. Note that there are restrictions on the scheduling and time available with certain instruments. Please see the instrument calendar for a summary of availability and effective RA ranges.

  • Facility instruments:
    • NIRI - near-IR imager and low-resolution spectrograph. NIRI is offered in queue observing mode only as all instrument modes are still shared-risks.
    • GMOS - optical imager, integral-field, long-slit and multi-object spectrograph. GMOS is offered in queue observing mode only as all instrument modes are still shared-risks.
    • The total NIRI + GMOS time available is 580 hours (approx 58 nights).
  • Visiting instruments:
    • Hokupa'a - natural guide star AO system with QUIRC near-IR camera (both loaned by University of Hawaii). Hokupa'a+QUIRC will be available during the period February-April only due to the anticipated delivery of the facility AO system (Altair). Scheduling may be subject to lunar phase limitations as QUIRC is often used on the UH2.2m telescope during bright time. Hokupa'a+QUIRC is offered in service observing mode only to be operated with support from the National Gemini Offices. 
    • CIRPASS - near-IR integral-field spectrograph. CIRPASS will be fed by the f/16 telescope beam only (not Hokupa'a) and will be available during the period March-April only. CIRPASS is offered in service observing mode only to be operated with support from the National Gemini Offices. 
    • The maximum Hokupa'a + QUIRC and CIRPASS time available is 320 hours (approx 32 nights) including payback.

See the relevant science instruments web pages for more detailed capabilities. Integration time calculators for NIRI and GMOS and guidelines when deciding between NIRI and Hokupa'a + QUIRC for near-IR imaging and between NIRI and NIRSPEC for near-IR spectroscopy are available.

 

Gemini North: Operational Modes

For semester 2002A, NIRI and GMOS are offered in queue observing mode only as the instruments are still in their shared-risks phase. It is intended that the visiting instruments, such as Hokupa'a+QUIRC and CIRPASS, will normally be available in classical mode only but, as the telescope is still in the shared-risks phase, in 2002A they will be operated in a service mode (similar to the queue) with support from the National Gemini Offices. Certain programs may be selected by the Gemini Director after the ITAC for classical observation by visiting observers; please indicate in your proposal if this would be of interest. 

Subject to the minimum allocation to NIRI + GMOS, the balance between instruments will be driven by scientific merit via the time allocation process. Any instrument must succeed in being awarded at least 160 hours (approx 16 nights) in order to be mounted on the telescope instrument support structure.

There is a minimum time (the sum of integration plus overheads) that can be requested for queue/service observing (see the descriptions of the modes for details).

Observations of non-sidereal objects will be permitted for all instruments.

Time-specific (including periodic monitoring) programs will be accepted on a best-efforts basis. Note that the instrument scheduling imposes additional restrictions on this class of programs.

All observations require the use of one wavefront sensor (WFS) star for fast guiding, primary mirror active optics control and/or as an adaptive optics wavefront reference source. The specific requirements for each instrument are given in the relevant science instrument web pages ("performance and use" section). As the technical feasibility of proposals relies in part on the availability of WFS stars, all proposals must include suitable WFS stars. Proposals concerned with non-sidereal objects should indicate the likely availability of WFS stars in the technical justification but are not required to supply specific stars.

For 2002A there is an minimum elevation limit for the telescope of 30 deg.

The following modes will not be offered in Semester 2002A on Gemini North: "quick response" observations, remote observing and eavesdropping. No instrument or observing mode changes during the night will be available. No other visitor instruments will be permitted.

 

Gemini North: Time Availability and Distribution

caution Please read an important revision to the amount of time available (12 Dec 01)

Due to the large number of instruments undergoing commissioning and other telescope tasks during this period (see an outline of the telescope and instrument commissioning plan), in semester 2002A about 50% of the time will be made available for science use. This fraction includes payback to University of Hawaii for the loan and support of Hokupa'a/QUIRC and to the UK for loan and support of CIRPASS (estimated at 3 nights each for 2002A). The time available to the partner countries also depends on the allocation to Gemini staff (see an overview of the staff process); a fraction of 10% was assumed for this table. Estimates of the time for each partner are listed below:

Partner Estimated Nights
(or Hours) Available
US 31 nights (314 hours)
host (Univ. of Hawaii) 9 nights (91 hours)
UK 17 nights (166 hours)
Canada 10 nights (100 hours)
Australia 3 nights (33 hours)
Argentina 2 nights (17 hours)
Brazil 2 nights (17 hours)

To maintain overall balance amongst the partnership, these values may be adjusted at the 2002A ITAC as a result of the historical usage of time. Weather and other losses and visiting instrument payback are excluded from this table. The number of nights is obtained from int(hours/10). Note that Chile's allocation on Gemini North is not included in anticipation of a new status of Chile within the partnership..

 

Gemini South: Instrument Availability

caution Note that all capabilities in semester 2002A are being made available on a shared-risks basis (see the definition of shared risks).

Instruments available in this semester are listed below. Note that there are restrictions on the scheduling and time available with certain instruments. Please see the instrument calendar for a summary of availability and effective RA ranges.

  • Facility instruments:
    • T-ReCS - mid-IR imager and spectrograph. T-ReCS is offered in queue observing mode only, as all instrument modes are still shared-risks, and is available after 1 June 2002 for imaging observations (no spectroscopy). To aid in developing the queue processes, a minimum of 300 hours (approx 30 nights) will be available for use of T-ReCS.
    • Whilst not a conventional facility instrument, the Acquisition Camera is offered for broadband (BVRI) optical imaging. It's capabilities are limited compared with the (future) facility imager (GMOS). Some preference may be given to Quick-Response programs to help develop that operational mode. AcqCam is offered in queue-observing mode only as all instrument modes are still shared-risks.
  • Visiting instruments:
    • Flamingos I - near-IR imager and multi-object spectrograph (loaned by University of Florida). Flamingos I is shared with NOAO and MMT and will be available during June-July for imaging and long-slit spectroscopy only. We anticipate offering the MOS mode in 2002B with some of the required pre-imaging being obtained in July. Flamingos I is offered in service observing mode only to be operated with support from the National Gemini Offices. 
    • Phoenix - high-resolution near-IR spectrograph (loaned by NOAO). Phoenix is offered in service observing mode only to be operated with support from the National Gemini Offices and will be available during the period February-May.  
    • The maximum Flamingos I, Phoenix and Acquisition Camera time available is approx 420 hours (approx 42 nights) including payback.

See the relevant science instruments web pages for more detailed capabilities. Integration time calculators for T-ReCS and AcqCam are available. 

 

Gemini South: Operational Modes

For semester 2002A, T-ReCS and AcqCam are offered in queue observing mode only as the instruments are still in their shared-risks phase. It is intended that the visiting instruments, such as Flamingos and Phoenix, will normally be available in classical mode only but, as the telescope is still in the shared-risks phase, in 2002A they will be operated in a service mode (similar to the queue) with support from the National Gemini Offices. Certain programs may be selected by the Gemini Director after the ITAC for classical observation by visiting observers; please indicate in your proposal if this would be of interest. 

Subject to the minimum allocation to T-ReCS, the balance between instruments will be driven by scientific merit via the time allocation process. Any instrument must succeed in being awarded at least 160 hours (approx 16 nights) in order to be mounted on the telescope instrument support structure.

There is a minimum time (the sum of integration plus overheads) that can be requested for queue/service observing (see the descriptions of the modes for details).

"Quick Response" programs are encouraged for use with the Acquisition Camera (only). For 2002A such programs must be submitted through the normal proposal process even if the specific target(s) are not known at the time of writing (see further details of the process and activation mechanism).

Time-specific (including periodic monitoring) programs will be accepted on a best-efforts basis. Note that the instrument scheduling imposes additional restrictions on this class of programs.

Observations of non-sidereal objects will be permitted.

All observations require the use of one wavefront sensor (WFS) star for fast guiding, primary mirror active optics control and/or as an adaptive optics wavefront reference source. The specific requirements for each instrument are given in the relevant science instrument web pages ("performance and use" section). As the technical feasibility of proposals relies in part on the availability of WFS stars, they must include suitable WFS stars. Proposals concerned with non-sidereal objects should indicate the likely availability of WFS stars in the technical justification. WFS stars are not required for quick-response proposals (but will be required to execute the observations).

For 2002A there is an minimum elevation limit for the telescope of 30deg.

The following modes will not be offered in Semester 2002A: remote observing and eavesdropping. No instrument or observing mode changes during the night will be available. No other visitor instruments will be permitted.

 

Gemini South: Time Availability and Distribution

caution Please read an important revision to the amount of time available (12 Dec 01)

Due to the large number of instruments undergoing commissioning and other telescope tasks during this period (see an outline of the telescope and instrument commissioning plan), in semester 2002A about 40% of the time will be made available for science use. This fraction includes payback to University of Florida for the loan and support of Flamingos I and to NOAO for the loan and support of Phoenix (estimated at 2 and 3 nights, respectively, for 2002A). Payback owed to the University of Florida for the previous loan and support of OSCIR has been carried over to T-ReCS (estimated at 5 nights for 2002A). The time available to the partner countries also depends on the allocation to Gemini staff (see an overview of the staff process); a fraction of 10% was assumed for this table. Estimates of the time for each partner are listed below:

Partner Estimated Nights
(or Hours) Available
US 25 nights (249 hours)
host (Chile) 6 nights (62 hours)
UK 13 nights (131 hours)
Canada 7 nights (74 hours)
Australia 3 nights (27 hours)
Argentina 1 night (12 hours)
Brazil 1 night (12 hours)

To maintain overall balance amongst the partnership, these values may be adjusted at the 2002A ITAC as a result of the historical usage of time. Weather and other losses and visiting instrument payback are excluded from this table. The number of nights is obtained from int(hours/10).

 

Questions and Answers

All questions concerning proposals, or any other subject, should be made using the Gemini HelpDesk. This web-based system will send the request to your National Gemini Office staff in the first instance who will then escalate it to Gemini staff if necessary.



Last update August 31, 2001; Phil Puxley