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General Information for

NASA Allocated Observing Time on the Keck Telescopes

2018A Proposal Due Date: September 14, 2017, 4 pm PDT

Highlights for 2018A

  1. This proposal call is contingent on NASA's renewal of the 5-year Cooperative Agreement with William M. Keck Observatory for 2018-2022.

  2. NASA is soliciting large Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) proposals in 2018A.
    • Non-binding, but required, letters of intent are due Aug 16.
    • KSMS proposals will not be accepted for TESS and JWST in this call. Normal mission support and general proposals will be accepted for these missions in 2018A.
    • We anticipate a subsequent KSMS call in 2019B which will accept proposals in support of TESS and JWST.
    • KSMS proposals must include discussion of data products that will result from the observing program, including their value to the wider community.

  3. Letters of support for both large Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) proposals and general mission support proposals must be requested from NASA HQ by August 31, two weeks before the submission deadline.

  4. Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) Check: In an effort to use the NASA time on the Keck telescopes as efficiently as possible, we ask proposers to verify to the TAC that their science goals cannot be met through public observations already in the Keck Observatory Archive. To accomplish this, the PI must enter text into a box on the submission page explaining why the data in KOA are not sufficient to meet their science goals.

  5. Time Domain Astronomy: Observers now can propose both cadence (Time Domain Astronomy, TDA) and Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs following the policies outlined here (ToO policies) and here (TDA/cadence policies). Starting in Semester 2017A, four Keck partners (UC, Caltech, UH, and NASA) agreed that TAC-approved ToO/TDA projects may interrupt observers at any of the four institutions. Each TAC can award up to a combined total of six ToO/TDA observations that interrupt any of the other institutions. If you are considering submitting a ToO or cadence observing proposal, see Section IV below for important details.

  6. Information on strategic grading is found in Section Ia below. Please refer to the updated 2014 NASA Science Plan for the strategic relevance section of your proposal.

  7. Special notes and considerations for the Keck instruments are listed below. Please also check the WMKO instrument page for telescope observing limits and the current list of available instruments.
    • The Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) is now available for full science observing. Please see the KCWI home page for information on the instrument capabilities.
    • SUBARU exchange: The SUBARU-Keck exchange will continue as last semester with flexibility as to the number of nights available for exchange, with the final number based on the demand from each community. Keck will offer DEIMOS, ESI, NIRSPEC, and NIRC2 on Keck-II and LRIS, HIRES, OSIRIS, and MOSFIRE on Keck-I. Generally, all Subaru instruments will be available.
    • NIRES: For 2018A, NIRES is only being offered in shared risk mode. Since NASA time is highly oversubscribed and, since there are no definitive calibration or time estimator data for observers to base their night requests on, NASA only offers instruments once they are fully tested and commissioned for science operations. It is expected that NIRES will be available to the NASA community beginning in 2018B.

Key Dates

August 16: Required, non-binding Notices of Intent for Key Strategic Mission Support Proposals due to NExScI

August 31: General and Key Strategic Mission Support letter requests due to NASA HQ

September 14: All proposals and supporting letters due to NExScI by 4 pm PDT

Table of Contents


Proposal Type
Number of Semesters
Number of Nights per Semester
Supported Letter Required? (Deadline to request from HQ)
Maximum # of Pages for Scientific Justification
General Observing
1
No Set Limit
NO
2
General Observing Multi-Semester
≤ 4
No Set Limit
NO
2
General Mission Support
≤ 4
No Set Limit
YES (8/31/2017)
2
Key Strategic Mission Support
2-6
5-10
YES (8/31/2017)
5

I. Guidelines for Allocation of NASA Keck Telescope Time

NASA announces a call for proposals to use its share of observing time at the W. M. Keck Observatory. This call for semester 2018A (February 1-July 31, 2018) will allocate 48 nights of observing, with planned allocations of 24.5 nights on Keck 1 and 23.5 nights on Keck 2, distributed evenly across dark, grey, and bright time. Typical over subscription rates range from 3:1 to 5:1.

Proposals are due on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 4pm PDT and should be submitted via the online submission page. See Section VII for details.

Ia. Strategic Use of NASA Keck Time

NASA intends the use of its time allocation on the Keck telescopes to be highly strategic in support of on-going missions and/or high priority, long-term science goals as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan.

The scientific areas in which proposals are solicited are:

  1. Investigations in support of Exoplanet Exploration (ExE) science goals and missions
  2. Investigations in support of Cosmic Origins (COR) science goals and missions
  3. Investigations in support of Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) science goals and missions
  4. Investigations of our own Solar System (SS) science goals and missions

In 2018A, within these science areas, three types of proposals for NASA Keck observing time will be accepted:

  1. General observing time proposals
  2. Large Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) proposals (See Section IIa. )
  3. General Mission Support proposals (See Section IIb. )

The primary goal of missions within the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars. Cosmic Origins (COR) Science comprises projects that study how stars and galaxies came into being, how they evolve, and ultimately how they end their lives. Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) projects explore the most extreme physical conditions of the universe, from black holes to dark energy. PCOS topics include cosmology, high-energy astrophysics and fundamental physics. Solar System (SS) programs involve studies of objects in our own solar system. Proposals may be reassigned to a different science area if deemed appropriate.

Proposers are encouraged to consider compelling planetary science investigations. Many of these objects are possible future mission targets as outlined in the most recent planetary decadal survey. Proposers should identify how the observations contribute to the body of scientific knowledge needed to help refine objectives of future missions and aid in the understanding of the origin or evolution of the targeted body. Observations should be of lasting importance to the broad planetary community

Proposers should base their science case in terms of strategic relevance toward achieving one or more of NASA's goals for the Exoplanet Exploration, Cosmic Origins, Physics of the Cosmos, or Solar System programs, as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan. Gradations of strategic relevance are listed below in order of highest to lowest relevance. In the "NASA Strategic Relevance" section on the cover page of your application, please note the level your program matches, and give evidence for how it matches that level.

  • This program is critical to support NASA Missions or programs, e.g. in support of approved NASA space observations that enable the mission to achieve its Level 1 Requirements;
  • This program adds significant value to, or enhances, existing NASA data/missions/facilities by, for example, carrying out a redshift survey for objects detected by HST or Spitzer imaging, or validating and characterizing targets important for planning future observations (e.g. JWST target selection), or provides data which directly addresses a NASA strategic goal;
  • This program generically supports NASA's broader science goals as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan.

General Observing programs requiring many nights of Keck time over multiple semesters (up to 4 semesters) may be submitted, but must explicitly and strongly justify their strategic connection to the stated goals. Multi-semester proposals are further discussed in Section III below.

Within these broad guidelines, the allocation of time will be based on scientific merit, strategic importance, availability of resources, and the uniqueness of Keck's capabilities for the particular investigation. All proposals for NASA Keck time will be evaluated by scientists comprising the NASA Keck Telescope Allocation Committee (NASA Keck TAC). The TAC process will be administered by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI). In recognition of the science communities that the NASA Keck time is expected to serve, TAC members are selected to assure balanced expertise in the areas of exoplanets, objects in our solar system, and in support of NASA's Cosmic Origins and Physics of the Cosmos goals. NASA's solicitation of proposals and their evaluation by the NASA Keck TAC will be phased so as to provide the evaluation and ranking of proposals needed to meet the telescope scheduling requirements set by the Director of the Keck Observatory.

Ib. Applying for Observing Time

All proposals for NASA Keck time must comply with the following criteria.

Ib.i Science and Technical Case

Proposals received by the application deadline will be reviewed and ranked by the NASA Keck TAC. The TAC will then submit their recommendations to the selecting official, the NExScI Executive Director, for final selection. NExScI will coordinate the final selections with WMKO for scheduling.

The scientific case for observing time should establish three things:

  1. Outline the scientific question(s) toward whose solution the observations are requested, and place these questions in the larger scientific context.
  2. Show how the measurements requested will be used to illuminate these questions.
  3. Demonstrate how the proposed science fits into NASA's strategic goals for its Keck time as listed above. (Note that a numerical grade will be assigned for strategic relevance.)

The technical case should demonstrate that the proposed measurements are technically feasible, given the performance of the proposed instrument(s), in the time requested, and that the proposal team has the requisite expertise to make the observations and reduce the data in a timely manner. Mission Support proposals must include additional supporting materials as described here.

Specific points that must be addressed include:

  • How the proposed observations relate to the applicant's previous work and to other work in the field.
  • Why the Keck Observatory is essential for the proposed observations.
  • The required spatial, spectral, and temporal range and resolution.
  • Estimates of the signal-to-noise required and expected, and justification for the number of nights requested for the entire program.
  • If new or unusual techniques are to be used, make clear how observations and calibrations will be obtained.
  • Brief description of the status of large telescope time that has been awarded during the past 2 years, such as progress with data reduction and publications.
  • Access to Keck telescopes through other institutions for this or related programs in past 2 years.
  • Any other information that may assist the TAC in evaluating the scientific merits of the proposal and its suitability for the Keck Telescopes.
  • All applications must include a complete and well-justified target list with sufficient information (magnitudes, coordinates) to determine scheduling within the semester. Applications without such lists will be rejected. In the case of ToO targets or sources being drawn from on-going surveys (e.g. K2), a description of the nature and location of the potential targets must be provided in sufficient detail for the TAC to make a thorough review.

The proposal should be aimed at someone who is not a specialist in the area of astronomy under study. A specific scientific case with a connection to the bigger picture, rather than a broad general one, is usually more successful.

Ib.ii NASA Keck Access

The opportunity to propose as Principal Investigators (PIs) for the NASA time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers ("U.S.-based astronomers" have their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution).

Proposals from PIs, or any Co-Is, who have access to the Keck telescopes through other partners (the University of California, Caltech, Yale, Keck Observatory, Swinburne, and the University of Hawaii) are required to indicate specifically how they are using any other Keck telescope time they have been awarded within the last two years for the proposed project and why their research requires time beyond the allocations available through their institution(s).

The TAC may use access to non-NASA Keck time as a factor in determining the final grades and rankings of the proposals. For example, the ability to achieve the science objectives with and without NASA time could be either a positive or a negative factor. If NASA time provides only a small fraction (<< 50%) of the observing time needed to complete a project, the TAC might conclude that NASA time is not crucial to the completion of scientific goals and the proposal may receive a lower ranking in comparison to a proposal which completes its goals within the NASA allocation. However, if the PI can leverage access to NASA and non-NASA time to address science goals aligned with NASA's strategic goals that could not be addressed with NASA time alone, the proposal could receive a higher ranking. In the case of two proposals ranked equally on scientific and technical merit, the TAC might use access to additional Keck time as one of the factors in determining the final ranking. Other factors that the TAC may use are listed below in the specific points that proposals must address.

Ib.iii KOA Check

In order to use the NASA time on the Keck telescopes as efficiently as possible we ask proposers to verify to the TAC that their science goals cannot be met through public observations already in the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). To accomplish this, the PI must enter text into a box on the submission page explaining why the data contained in KOA are not sufficient to meet their science goals.

Reasons why additional or different data are needed could be related to but are not limited to the cadence, timing, or depth of the archived observations, or the wavelength range or observation mode in which the data were taken. PIs who are proposing solar system or other target observations in order to investigate changes over time, can state this without checking the archive. Proposers with large survey programs should describe KOA results for a representative sample of their targets.

To see what data are contained in KOA, please use this link and enter your target list according to the directions.

II. Proposals in Support of NASA Space Missions

IIa. Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) Proposals

In 2018A, NASA is soliciting proposals for large Key Strategic Mission Support programs. These proposals must directly support NASA mission science goals, and not just be larger versions of general science programs. Eligible KSMS science areas include both astrophysics and solar system programs.

IIa.i Eligibility and Requirements for Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) Proposals

Proposed projects may support past, present, and/or future missions with the exception of TESS and JWST. To coordinate better with the launch and the public availability of data from TESS and JWST, KSMS proposals will NOT be accepted for these two missions in 2018A. However, PIs interested in precursor or early follow-up observations for these two missions can propose for general Mission Support projects or general observing in semesters 2018A-2019A. The next KSMS proposal call is planned for the 2019B semester and will be open to proposals for both of these facilities.

Successful KSMS programs selected in 2016A were the following: Kepler and K2 follow-up of confirmed or candidate exoplanets; redshifts survey in support of the upcoming Euclid mission; search for plumes for upcoming Europa mission.

A KSMS project is typically multi-semester, spanning 10-60 nights total (5-10 nights per semester) of combined Keck 1 and/or Keck 2 time over a time period of up to three years (semesters 2018A through 2020B).

  • Between 10-60 nights total over three years will be allocated between one or more Key Strategic Mission Support projects.
  • The proposed projects can range in size from a minimum of 5 full nights per semester for minimum of 2 semesters up to a maximum of 10 full nights per semester for a maximum of 6 semesters. At any one time, no more than 15 nights per semester will be allocated to these Key Strategic Mission Support Projects.
  • Proposed projects can request partial nights, as long as the sum total is less than or equal to 10 nights per semester. However, scheduling constraints will be an important consideration in the selection process.

The Key Strategic Mission Support proposals require letters of support demonstrating that the proposals support specific mission goals. All KSMS proposals must include ALL of the following:

  1. A non-binding Notice of Intent email including the PI name and title of the Key Strategic Mission Support proposal sent to the NASA Keck Operations Scientist, Dr. Dawn Gelino (KeckCFP@ipac.caltech.edu) by August 16, 2017.
  2. A written endorsement from the NASA Headquarters Keck Program Scientist, Dr. Hashima Hasan (hhasan@nasa.gov). These letters must be requested from NASA Headquarters no fewer than 10 business days before the proposal due date (i.e. by Aug. 31, 2017 ).
  3. A formal justification from the flight project, e.g., from the Project Scientist, Project Manager, or Principal Investigator, including an explanation of the criticality and timeliness of the proposed observations.

Since the strong support of your letter writers is critical to deciding whether or not your proposal meets Key Strategic Mission Support criteria, proposers should contact the relevant flight project lead as well as Dr. Hasan at NASA HQ well before the proposal submission deadline. Letters of support must either be included in the proposal package or sent directly to the NASA Keck Operations Scientist, Dr. Dawn Gelino (KeckCFP@ipac.caltech.edu) by the proposal due date. Omission of any of these items by the above due date for Key Strategic Mission Support proposals will result in the proposal being deemed non-compliant and will eliminate the proposal from all consideration.

IIa.ii Required Criteria for Key Strategic Mission Support Proposals

  1. The proposed activity must support in a well-defined manner, high priority, mission-specific goals of a space mission either led by or with a formal partnership with NASA's Astrophysics or Solar System Divisions.
  2. The proposal must define a clear and well-defined program and sample of objects in support of a compelling scientific program.
  3. The number of semesters and nights requested per semester should be clearly stated and justified. This request should also specify if the observing requests are time or date-constrained within each semester.
  4. Proposers should discuss the efficiency of their program in terms of filling their proposed telescope time.
  5. Proposers should describe how their targets have previously been vetted or will be vetted using other facilities to ensure that Keck observations are used efficiently and effectively.
  6. Proposers should state the expected limiting precision of their observations, the details of the target sample (object characteristics, relevant ancillary data, sample size, etc.), their observing strategy and observing cadence, and demonstrate their capability to reduce the data in a timely manner at the required level of precision.
  7. Demonstrated track record of appropriate and timely data reduction.
  8. A plan for timely release of processed data in a form suitable for use by the broader community as a contributed dataset through the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). This must include discussion of data products that will result from your observing programs and the wider value of these products to the community.
  9. Strong record of relevant publications and/or data releases.
  10. Required letters of support as detailed above.
  11. Proposals from teams with access to the Keck telescopes through other partners are required to indicate specifically how they are using any other Keck telescope time they have been awarded for the proposed project and why their research requires time beyond the allocations available through their institution(s). See Section Ib.ii for details.
  12. Proposals should address the criteria (Science & Technical case, KOA check, and Access to Keck) described above (Ib.i-iii).

We anticipate funding up to $75K/year/team (depending on the number of allocated nights and the complexity of the proposed final data products) will be available to support the completion of item 8 above.

The legacy value of your data, as well as the compelling data products you produce, will enable the community to make more and better use of data from NASA space astrophysics missions. Therefore, criterion #8 is an essential part of a KSMS program. Further, the amount of funding a successful KSMS proposal receives will be contingent upon the TAC's asessment of this criterion.

IIa.iii Details of Key Strategic Mission Support Proposals

KSMS proposal packets must be written in 12-point font with 1-inch margins and are limited to the number of pages below. Please note that page limits are different for the general mission support and general observing proposals, and can be found here.

  • 5 pages for scientific justification
  • 1 page detailing the instrument request
  • 3 pages for tables, figures and references
  • 1 page for status of allocated time on large telescopes
  • 1 page for a data reduction and release plan
  • 1 page progress report for ongoing or recently completed NASA Keck projects
  • A target list that is as complete/representative as possible for scheduling purposes

All proposals requesting time must fill out a Keck Observatory Cover Sheet for 2018A. Successful Key Project teams will have to fill out the cover sheet for each subsequent semester to enable scheduling of their observations.

All raw data will go public through the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) after the standard 18-month proprietary period (see Section VII below). Requests for a shorter proprietary period may be considered favorably by the TAC in their deliberations. Requests for longer proprietary periods will not be accepted for Key Strategic Mission Support data.

IIb. General (Non-Key) Mission Support Proposals

The NASA Keck TAC accepts mission support proposals that demonstrate that the proposed observations provide critical and timely support for approved NASA space missions. In this case, "critical" refers to NASA Keck data meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Essential to achieving Level 1 Requirements of the mission, e.g. Kepler follow-up at Keck being essential to validate and characterize planet candidates, validating WISE completeness/reliability right after launch, gathering data during LCROSS lunar impact;
  2. Essential to mission planning activities including those affecting the health, safety, and risk mitigation of NASA assets, e.g. looking for potentially harmful debris in the rings orbiting Pluto that might endanger the New Horizons spacecraft;
  3. Parallel/coordinated observations with NASA assets required for time critical events and/or for independent validation and verification of the space mission data, e.g. to support SOFIA observations of Pluto multiple occultations;
  4. Longer term mission planning, e.g. looking for Kuiper Belt objects that New Horizons might fly to after its encounter with Pluto;
  5. Observations essential to the calibration or data reduction of instruments on NASA missions, e.g. calibration of JWST spectrometers using the spectra of astrophysical objects.

The TAC evaluates the science of each Mission Support proposal along with the general proposal pool without special consideration for programmatic impact. However, mission support proposals usually garner high strategic grades, and the NASA Keck selecting official, the NExScI Executive Director, will take the TAC evaluation and programmatic concerns into consideration in making the final time assignments.

All proposals submitted under the general mission support category must include the following two endorsement letters, either in the proposal package or sent directly to the NASA Keck Operations Scientist, Dr. Dawn Gelino (KeckCFP@ipac.caltech.edu) by the September 14 due date. Omission of either letter will eliminate a proposal from consideration in the mission support category.

  1. A written endorsement for the current semester from the NASA Headquarters Keck Program Scientist, Dr. Hashima Hasan (hhasan@nasa.gov). These letters must be requested from NASA Headquarters no fewer than 10 business days before the proposal due date (i.e. by August 31, 2017).
  2. A formal written justification for the current semester from the flight project, e.g., Project Scientist, Project Manager, or Principal Investigator, including an explanation of the criticality and timeliness of the proposed observations as identified in criteria 1-5 of this section.

Since the strong support of your letter writers is critical to deciding whether your proposal meets Mission Support criteria, contact the relevant flight project lead, and Dr. Hasan at NASA HQ, well before the proposal submission deadline.

III. Multi-Semester Proposals and Applying for Partial Nights

Principal investigators may submit general observing/mission support proposals that span up to 4 semesters. This option reduces the workload on both PIs and the NASA Keck TAC for long-term programs. The NASA Keck TAC will be instructed to consider these proposals in light of all of the criteria that apply for single semester proposals, in addition to the following considerations:

  • If the proposal were accepted for only a single semester, what is the likelihood that it would be successfully resubmitted over the ensuing semesters?
  • How much observing time does the TAC consider appropriate to remove from consideration in upcoming semesters?
  • Does the PI have a demonstrated history of successful proposals?

In considering multi-semester proposals, the TAC may recommend accepting the proposal in its entirety, for some subset of the proposed semesters, or reject it outright.

Proposers should bear in mind that proposals requesting less than full nights must be scientifically and technically justified and can ordinarily be accommodated only if they can be combined with another selected program requiring a compatible instrument and configuration. Observing modes that require substantial observatory support (e.g., Laser Guide Star) are more difficult to schedule as partial night observations.

NASA observers can propose for cadence/Time Domain Astronomy (TDA) and Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs using the new WMKO cover sheet. See Section IV for details.

IV. Target of Opportunity and Cadence Observing Proposals

NASA observers can propose both cadence/Time Domain Astronomy (TDA) and Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs. ToO proposals for events likely to happen during a single semester (e.g. gamma-ray bursts, supernovae) must be submitted during the regular submission cycle so that the proposed observations can be considered by the TAC and potential scheduling opportunities can be discussed. Cadence/TDA observations are those that can be scheduled in advance and require only a small fraction of a night several times over a semester. Policies related to ToO or TDA proposals can be found at ToO policies and TDA/cadence policies. These policies are in place for a 2-year trial period (through semester 2018B) with a review after the first year.

Starting in Semester 2017A, four Keck partners (UC, Caltech, UH, and NASA) agreed that TAC-approved ToO and TDA projects may interrupt observers at any of the four institutions. Each TAC can award up to a combined total of six ToO/TDA observations that interrupt any of the other institutions. The TAC will require that proposals requesting ToO or TDA status be of the highest scientific and/or strategic importance due to their disruptive nature at the observatory and to other observers. We will endeavor to schedule the highest priority programs, but we cannot guarantee availability of ToO/TDA observations for all approved programs. Observing modes that require substantial observatory support, e.g. LGS, are more difficult to schedule as ToO observations.

PIs may ask for their time to be designated as uninterruptable, i.e. as exempt from ToO or cadence interrupts. To do this, mark the appropriate box on the NExScI submission page and justify in one brief paragraph why the proposed observations cannot be interrupted. This explanation should be scientifically motivated, namely that such interruptions would seriously compromise the scientific return of the observing program. It is anticipated that interruption-free time will rarely be granted. Note that programs scheduled as half-nights or smaller will not be interrupted.

Only proposals that fit the case of a ToO observation of an extraordinary opportunity that could not have been anticipated prior to the proposal deadline may be submitted outside of the regular submission cycle to Dr. Dawn Gelino. Note that all ToO proposals must meet the strategic relevance guidelines described above.

V. Data Proprietary Periods

Data taken with all instruments on the Keck telescopes are included in the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) with a default proprietary period of 18 months. Requests for extensions of this default proprietary period MUST be included in the proposal and on the WMKO cover sheet and be scientifically justified. All extensions must be approved by the NASA selecting official, NExScI Director, Dr. Charles Beichman.

VI. Publication Acknowledgement

All publications based on data acquired with the Keck telescopes and/or the Keck Observatory Archive should include the acknowledgement(s) below.

Please send a citation for any paper using either acknowledgement to the NASA Keck Operations Scientist, Dr. Dawn Gelino (KeckCFP@ipac.caltech.edu).

WMKO Acknowledgement

"This work was supported by a NASA Keck PI Data Award, administered by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory from telescope time allocated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the agency's scientific partnership with the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain."

KOA Acknowledgement

"This research has made use of the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA), which is operated by the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI), under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration." Please also use the ADS bibcode provided by KOA to reference the PI of the dataset.

VII. Application Procedures

To submit your proposal, please follow the guidelines outlined on the Application Procedures page, and submit your proposal via the online submission page. Proposals are due on Thursday, September 14, 2017 by 4 pm PDT.

Proposal Support

Subject to the availability of funds, NASA will financially support PIs of programs assigned time through this call for proposals. PIs will receive limited research and travel support contingent upon NASA Headquarters funding. Funding awards will be determined through formulaic means. Target of Opportunity proposals do not typically receive financial support since the observations may never be triggered. PIs of approved KSMS programs are expected to be awarded up to $75K/year depending on the number of nights the program is awarded and the complexity of the proposed final data products.

NExScI will manage the Keck PI Data Awards and will contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to administer the disbursement of most of the funds. Depending on the size of the award and the nature of the PI's home institution, the funding instrument used by JPL will in most cases be a Research Support Agreement (RSA). An RSA is a simple Fixed Price, Advance Paid, subcontract provided through JPL that is used for basic research funding where scientific reports and technical data are the only deliverables. RSAs can be awarded to educational and non-profit institutions. JPL is unable to issue grants. Proposers should not include any budget information in the proposal however successful KSMS proposers will be contacted by NASA Headquarters for detailed budget information.

The only reporting necessary for RSAs is a final "end of contract" report outlining the work done and listing publications from the research. This report is required. Please use this final report template to ensure that all relevant information is included. Failure to submit a final report in a timely manner may be grounds for rejection of observing proposals in subsequent years. Final reports can be submitted online.

VIII. Remote Observing

NASA Keck observers have direct access to three Remote Observing Facilities (ROFs) for their Keck observations. These ROFs are located at Caltech (Pasadena, CA), Yale University (New Haven, CT) and USRA (Columbia, MD). See the ROF page for more information and usage guidelines. The procedure to use one of these ROFs should be started no later than 5 weeks before the scheduled nights.

Note that other ROFs are available to NASA users with direct access to these facilities.


Web Curator and NExScI Cognizant Official: Dr. Dawn Gelino

(last updated September 12th, 2017 14:35:47)