In 2016B, LCOGT Network has two 2-meter telescopes, nine 1-meter telescopes and three 0.4-meter telescopes available for science observations. The 1m telescopes are equipped with two different imagers (Sinistros and SBIGs); the distribution of camera types will be announced before the start of the semester. For information on the instruments available on the Network's telescopes, please consult the Observatory Instruments page.
Eligibility to apply to this call is limited to members of institutions with which LCOGT has formal agreements, but without guaranteed time, and to individuals from other institutions who are included by special permission of the LCOGT Director. The list of eligible institutions includes LCOGT itself, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech, the University of Colorado, and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC).
Proposals must be submitted through LCOGT's website, but before you can submit a proposal, you must register at LCOGT's Observatory portal. When you have access to the portal, you can click on the "Create or edit proposals" link to access the web-based proposal form.
We recommend that you consult the Guidelines for Writing Proposals. The Guideline page contains a description of the proposal format, information on the available instruments, and links to the Observatory Tools. The tools that are particularly useful when preparing proposals are the exposure time calculator and the target visibility calculator, which shows how observable a given position (RA & Dec) is on the LCOGT Network.
LCOGT supports two observing modes: queue-scheduled and rapid-response. Queue-scheduled observations are sequences of one or more "blocks", defined by a single window (for one) or a cadence (for more than one). A block is a set of integrations, intended to be executed contiguously. A block may be several identical exposures or it may involve filter changes or exposure time changes. Rapid-response observations are intended to take place as quickly as possible (typically within 15 minutes of the target's availability). Execution of a rapid-response observation will terminate an ongoing queue-scheduled block. Proposals must request queue-scheduled and rapid-response observations separately, and rapid-response requests must be adequately justified.
Authors of proposals that have special scheduling constraints (e.g., simultaneous observations by two telescopes, multi-night or multi-site timeseries) are strongly advised to contact LCOGT personnel for advice on feasibility before submission.
Time charged includes all the overhead associated with slewing the telescope, acquiring the target, preparing the instrument, and reading out the detector, in addition to the actual exposure time. You should include overheads in the time request in your proposal. Overhead information is available in a table in the Guidelines for Writing Proposals, as well as on the Instruments page. Use the appropriate Slew & Settle time and Acquisition & Setup time for each new object, then add the readout time for each separate exposure.
Time is charged for all exposures attempted, regardless of the quality or delivery of the data.
The Observatory portal displays the number of hours of an approved allocation that have been used.
All proposals will be reviewed by a Time Allocation Committee (TAC) whose members are selected from the astronomical community and are not affiliated with LCOGT. Proposals will be evaluated based on scientific merit, experimental design, and credibility of the proposing team. We welcome proposals that have a significant educational component.
Only observations that can be executed during the 2016B semester (1 October 2016 - 31 March 2017) may be requested.
Our goal in the 2016B semester is to execute all observation requests. TAC priority will be used to guide choices, all other things being equal. Rapid-response observations necessarily have higher priorities than other observations, thus the need for explicit justification.