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Phase I Checklist

A number of common errors are made by PIs when creating phase I files writing their technical justifications. The PI should consider the following checklist when writing the Phase I proposal.


  • Instrument configuration:
    • Are the camera and filter (for imaging) or camera, slit and grism (for spectroscopy) specified in the proposal instrument resource list?
    • Did you choose the appropriate camera?
    • Did you choose the appropriate filter?
    • Does your choice of slit and grism give appropriate spectral resolution and spectral coverage?
    • Will the baseline calibrations be sufficient. If not has sufficient observing time been requested for additional calibrations?

  • Observing time:
    • Did you confirm the exposure time and S/N using the NIRI Integration Time Calculator?
    • Are overheads included in the time requested in your proposal?
    • Have overheads been included for additional calibrations, if needed?
    • Is time included for off-source sky measurements, if needed?
    • If many very short exposures are needed, you may need to include larger overheads to account for the lower observing efficiency.
    • If accurate centering of the slit on the target is essential, have appropriate overheads been included to allow periodic checks of the slit centering?

  • Observing conditions requested (for both queue- and classically-scheduled observations):
    • Is the expected image quality (scaled to the airmass of your target) sufficient for your program? What is the minimum image quality necessary for the science?
    • What level of cloud cover is acceptable? Is photometric weather required?
    • Water vapor content is usually only relevant if you are observing in the thermal IR (3 to 5 microns).
    • Sky background in the near-IR doesn't vary greatly, but it does depend on water vapor at 3 to 5 microns.
    • Note the product of the probabilities of each of the conditions listed above. This is related to the likelihood of your observations being executed, especially in the lower ranking bands. You might wish to reconsider some of your constraints if the product is very low.