The call for proposals for NASA Keck time in observing semester 2017B (August 1, 2017-January 31, 2018) is now open for professional research using the NASA allocation for telescope observing time at the W.M. Keck Observatory.
2018A proposals will be due Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 4 pm PDT; 2018A call information will be posted in late July.
Notice of Future Call for NASA Keck Key Strategic Mission Support Programs
NASA is a 1/6 partner in the two 10-m telescopes of the William M. Keck Observatory. Access to NASA's share of this time on the Keck telescopes, approximately 90 nights per year, is available to all astronomers resident at US institutions. Proposals are submitted twice a year to the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) which runs the selection process on behalf of all science disciplines in NASA's Astrophysics and Planetary Science Divisions. Observing time is awarded on the basis of scientific merit and the degree to which the proposed program supports NASA missions and/or NASA's strategic goals.
Starting in 2016, NASA set aside 1/3 of its allocation for Key Strategic Mission Support programs (KSMS). These programs were required to demonstrate a critical need for ground-based data in direct support of an on-going or a future space mission. In the 2016A semester, NASA selected three KSMS projects for a 2 year duration: follow-up of transiting exoplanet candidates found by the K2 mission (Andrew Howard, PI, Hawaii/Caltech, 40 nights over 2 years); calibration of photometric redshifts for the EUCLID mission using spectroscopic redshifts of over 1,000 galaxies (Dan Stern, JPL, PI, 10 nights over 2 years); and a search for evidence of water and active generation of plumes in support of the Europa Clipper project (Lucas Paganini, U. Catholic/GSFC, PI, 10 nights over 2 years). All three programs come to an end at the completion of the 2017B semester.
In the expectation that NASA's 5-year Cooperative Agreement with William M. Keck Observatory will be renewed for the period 2018-2022, The 2018A KSMS opportunity will be open for topics/missions in astrophysics and planetary science. However, due to uncertainties in the actual launch dates for, and the availability of data from, TESS and JWST, KSMS proposals will NOT be accepted for these two missions in 2018A. PIs interested in precursor or early follow-up observations for these two missions can still propose for general Mission Support projects in semesters 2018A-2019A, in addition to the next KSMS proposal call planned for the 2019B semester. We expect that successful proposers will be funded, depending on the number of allocated nights, to assist with data analysis and the development of data products.
Details of the opportunity and the proposal process will be announced when the 2018A Call for Proposals is released in late July with non-binding notices of intent due August 16, 2017 (submitted via email to email@example.com). A KSMS project is typically multi-semester, spanning 10-60 nights over a time period of up to three years.
PIs may ask for their time to be designated as uninterruptable, i.e. as exempt from ToO or cadence interrupts. Note that programs scheduled as half-nights or smaller will not be interrupted. To do this, mark the appropriate box on the NExScI submission page and explain in one brief paragraph why the proposed observations cannot be interrupted. This explanation should be scientifically motivated, namely that interruptions would seriously compromise the scientific return of the observing program. It is anticipated that interruption-free time will be rarely granted.
March 1: Mission Support letter inquiries due to NASA HQ
March 16: All proposals and supporting letters due to NExScI by 4 pm PDT
The NASA Keck Time Solicitation Information web site is a source of information for professional researchers who wish to submit proposals for the NASA allocation of observing time at the W. M. Keck Observatory. For general public information, please visit the Keck Home Page.
Web Curator and NExScI Cognizant Official: Dawn Gelino
(last updated June 27th, 2017 13:31:24)