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 early August.
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, NASA is planning to release a new call for KSMS projects to begin with the 2018A semester. Details of the opportunity and the proposal process will be announced when the 2018A Call for Proposals is released early in August 2017 with non-binding notices of intent due shortly thereafter. All proposals for the 2018A semester will be due on September 14, 2017. A KSMS project is typically multi-semester, spanning 10-60 nights over a time period of up to three years. The KSMS opportunity will be open for all topics/missions in astrophysics and planetary science.
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 May 25th, 2017 08:50:35)