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From 2012A onwards, LCOGT will be accepting proposals for "background" programs in addition to proposals whose priority will be assigned by standard TAC-ranking, as in the past. Background programs are intended to fill gaps in the schedule when no other program can be done, by providing reservoir of observations which can be executed at any time and (ideally) in any conditions. Please note that only queue-scheduled observations can be made through a background proposal, and no guarantees can be made as to its execution. All other proposals should go through the standard TAC-ranked channel.
Eligibility to apply to this call is limited to members of institutions with which LCOGT has formal agreements, and to individuals from other institutions who are principal investigators on an observing projects that have been granted Faulkes Telescope time during the last 2 years. The list of eligible institutions includes LCOGT itself, UCSB, UH, ANU, MacQuarie U., ARI, and the Faulkes Telescope Project. I am sending this to a representative (but not exhaustive) list of people at those institutions. If you are one of these, please pass this message to your interested colleagues. I have tried to make an exhaustive list of eligible individuals from other institutions; if you are getting this email directly from me, you may assume you are on my list and are eligible. If you get this call by other means and think you qualify, then please excuse my oversight, and get in touch. Users accessing FTN and FTS through the RTI during usual education times do not need to apply.To those connected with programs to which we already have made major commitments (e.g. the schools programs, U. Hawaii, ANU, ARI, and Robonet.) I ask that you please submit proposals anyway. In particular, please tell me the fraction of hours that you expect to use for fixed-group observing, for queue-scheduled observing, (flexible and monitor groups), and for ToO observing. I will email each of these groups separately in a few days with the number of hours that they may expect to receive this semester.
Instructions on how to apply for telescope time can be found on the Guidelines for applying for telescope time page:http://lcogt.net/science/article/guidelines-applying-telescope-timewhere you can download the Latex template and style files for your proposal.To submit the proposal, you will need to register at our 2-meter proposal portal:http://lcogt.net/science/tac/and then follow the Submit Proposal link.
We ask users to propose for time based on the type of observing required by their programs, as reflected in the Proposal Template. These types are Fixed-block, Queue-scheduled, and Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. This distinction is necessary because the observation types differ with respect to the mechanism by which observations are scheduled, and the expected cost in telescope resource per hour of on-sky time.If you desire fixed-block time, do not pad your request to allow for possible bad weather; ask for what your science requires. The TAC will take weather into account (up to a factor of 2 padding) without your asking. If, however, such padding does not make sense (perhaps you wish to observe a once-in-a-century event, for which repeat observing is not possible), then please put a statement to this effect in the body of your proposal.If the TAC awards you fixed-block observing time for your science you will be allocated an LCOGT liaison astronomer. Please coordinate the scheduling and the particulars of your observing requirements directly with them. Give as much advance warning as possible so we can resolve any conflicting programs, but at least 3-5 weeks (the schedule is usually done in 2-week blocks, with requests due 3 weeks before the start of the block).
The rules for how time is deducted from a user's observing program based on the observation type are as follows:
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