BASIC INSTRUCTIONS

Utilizing ARK, the Astrophysics Research Knowledgebase, a service of NASA's High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center, RPS provides a facility for filling out the NuSTAR proposal forms, as part of the ROSES NRA. Electronic submission of the proposal forms is required. The scientific/technical justification must also be submitted electronically, uploaded as a single PDF file after the initial submission of the electronic proposal forms. Please note that this PDF cannot exceed 10 MB in size.

In order to access the NuSTAR RPS web form, you must first create an ARK account and/or join the NUSTAR group.

If you already have an ARK account, login first and select "Join Group" from the menu next to "NuSTAR RPS (NUSTAR)" and then click on the Submit Changes button.

If you do not already have an ARK account, enter your e-mail address in the input field provided and click on the checkbox next to "NuSTAR RPS (NUSTAR)" and then click on the Join ARK button. Check your e-mail and click on the activation code found therein. Fill out the ARK registration form and submit.

Next, proceed to the NuSTAR RPS web form and fill out the form as directed below. Targets can be added at the end of the form or by clicking the Add Targets button at the top or bottom of the page. The Add Targets button can be used to add blank targets or to upload a plain text file containing a list of target names and/or positions. Please note that this latter method will only fill in the fields for the target name and pointing position; you will still need to enter other information (observation time, expected rates, constraints, etc.) for each target using the web interface. Alternatively, after adding some targets, you can use the Save button to download a plain text representation of the ARK form, which you can edit in your favorite text editor and then Reload into ARK. Note that the file format used by the Reload mechanism is the same as the format of the files generated by the Save button.

After you have filled out the form, click the Verify button to make sure you have entered the form information correctly. If the form does not validate, ARK/RPS will identify the reason(s) for non-verification, which you will need to correct. Once the form verifies successfully, a Submit button will appear, allowing you to you to submit the proposal to RPS.

The PostScript, PDF, and LaTeX buttons can be used to generate formatted versions of the proposal forms. We recommend that PIs keep formatted copies of the forms for their personal records, but it is not a required part of the proposal submission process.

After clicking on the Submit button, go to your Recent Activity page. Summary information for the proposal that you just submitted should be listed here, indicating that you have successfully submitted your NuSTAR proposal forms to ARK/RPS. You may now upload your scientific/technical justification in PDF format. From the Recent Activity page, click on the Files button next to the proposal you submitted, and then click on the Upload button and follow the instructions on that page. After you have successfully uploaded your scientific justification, you have completed your RPS electronic submission.

Note: After submission and before the proposal deadline, you may still Modify or Discard your proposal using the appropriate buttons on the Recent Activity page. The Files button also enables you to Download, Discard, or Replace any file that you previously uploaded.

Additional information on how to use RPS and the answers to some frequently asked questions can be found on the RPS Quick Help page.

Short descriptions of the forms and fields are below. The fields are listed in the same order as found on the web page. The labels for the fields in the web form will link to the appropriate field description below.

FORM/FIELD-SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS

Cover Page

This section contains fields for the proposal title, the type of proposal, the proposal abstract, and information about the Principal Investigator of the proposal, such as name, institution, address, telephone number, etc.

Proposal Title

The title of the proposal. Up to 120 characters are allowed. Required.

Abstract

800 characters maximum. Abstracts exceeding this limit will cause an error and must be shortened. Required.

Joint Proposal?

Joint Suzaku-NuSTAR observations may be proposed for in the NuSTAR guest observer cycle. Click the Yes checkbox if Suzaku observation time is requested for any of the proposed targets. If Yes is checked, then the required Suzaku instrument(s) must be indicated by clicking on the XIS and/or HXD checkboxes and you must specify the preferred Suzaku exposure time for each target in the proposal in the individual target form(s).

Principal Investigator Title

Your title (Dr., Ms., Mr., Prof.). The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

First Name

Your first name. Up to 30 characters are allowed. Required. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Middle Name or Initial

If you like, you may add your middle name or initial(s). Optional. Up to 30 characters are allowed. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Last Name

Your last name (surname). Up to 30 characters are allowed. Required. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Department

The name of your department at your institution. Up to 60 characters are allowed. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Institution

Your institutional affiliation. Required. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Address 1

The first line of your institution's address, e.g., the street name, any number within it, etc. Up to 60 characters. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Address 2

The second line of your institution's address, if needed. Up to 60 characters. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

City/Town

Your city or town. Up to 32 characters. Required. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

State/Province

The name of the state/province/prefecture in which your institution is located. Up to 30 characters. Required. For states in the U.S., please use USPS-standard, two-letter abbreviations. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Zip/Postal Code

The postal code, ZIP code, or equivalent of your institution. Up to 10 characters. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Country

The name of the country in which your institution is located. Required. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission. If your country is not listed, please contact the RPS Help Desk.

Telephone Number

Your telephone number, plus any extension. Please include the international prefix if appropriate. Up to 24 characters allowed. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

Fax Number

Your fax number, if available. 24 characters allowed. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

E-mail Address

Your e-mail address. Up to 60 characters. Required. An e-mail receipt will be sent to this address within 24 hours of the electronic submission of your proposal, if the e-mail receipt option is checked in your ARK user profile. The value for this field comes from your ARK user profile. If it is incorrect, update your ARK user profile prior to proposal submission.

General Form

This section contains fields for details about your collaborators, if any, and additional contact information. Up to 15 Co-Investigators can be specified.

Co-Investigator First Name

The first name of each Co-Investigator. Up to 20 characters.

Co-Investigator Last Name

The last name of each Co-Investigator. Up to 20 characters.

Co-Investigator Institution

The institution for each Co-Investigator. Up to 60 characters. Please refer to the List of Institutions Recognized by RPS and use the official name of the institution wherever possible. Note: If your Co-I's institution is not among those listed, please contact the RPS Help Desk and request that it be added to the list. Such requests are typically answered within 24 hours, excluding weekends and U.S. Federal holidays.

Co-Investigator Country

The country for each Co-Investigator. If a country is not listed, please contact us at the RPS Help Desk and request that it be added to the list.

Co-Investigator E-mail Address

The e-mail address for each Co-Investigator. Up to 60 characters.

Contact First Co-Investigator Listed Above?

Checkbox indicating whether or not the first Co-Investigator listed is also a contact person in cases where the Principal Investigator cannot be reached. The default is to contact only the Principal Investigator.

Telephone Number of First Co-Investigator

Telephone number of the Co-Investigator that should be contacted. Up to 24 characters. Be sure to include the international code if outside the United States. Only enter a value for this field if you specify that the first Co-Investigator should be contacted.

Target Form(s)

This sections contains all the details for each different target to be observed.

Target Name

The commonly accepted name for the object. Up to 20 characters. Required. Please use standard names for known targets (e.g., NGC 2237 or Eta Car).

Target Category

Specify one of the following categories that best describes this target. Required.
     Solar System Objects
     Galactic Compact Objects
     Non-ToO Supernovae, Supernova Remnants, and Diffuse Galactic Emissions
     Normal Galaxies
     Active Galaxies and Quasars
     Galaxy Clusters and Extragalactic Diffuse Objects

R.A.

The J2000 right ascension of the source. The value can be entered in either sexagesimal format (HH MM SS.SS — hours, minutes, seconds, separated by spaces) or decimal degrees format (DDD.DDDDD). If you enter the value in sexagesimal format, it will be converted to decimal degrees format when you submit. Note: If you are proposing to observe a moving object whose position is unknown at the time of proposal submission, please specify "0.0" for both the R.A. and Dec. fields. Required.

Dec.

The J2000 declination of the source. The value can be entered in either sexagesimal format (±DD MM SS.S — an optional sign, either + or -, followed by the degrees, minutes, and seconds, separated by spaces) or decimal degrees format (±DD.DDDDD). If you enter the value in sexagesimal format, it will be converted to decimal degrees format when you submit. If you do not specify the sign, it is assumed to be positive. Note: If you are proposing to observe a moving object whose position is unknown at the time of proposal submission, please specify "0.0" for both the R.A. and Dec. fields. Required.

Total Observation Time

The preferred exposure (i.e., total amount of good on-source data, after standard screening) in kiloseconds for observing the target. This is the total observation time, so this is the sum of all pointings for one telescope. The minimum time is 20 ksec, and the maximum time for a single target is 500 ksec. Required.

Extended Source?

If the target is not a point source, click this checkbox.

Source Extent

Specify the diameter (in arcminutes) of the circle that completely encloses the region of interest and is centered on the target's position. This is to assure that all of your targets will remain in the observing field in case the field center needs to be shifted. Round to the nearest hundredth of an arcminute, with a minimum of 0.01 arcminutes.

Tiling Observations?

If you wish to tile observations, click the checkbox.

Tiling Pattern

Specify the pattern used to tile multiple observations together, if tiling observations are desired. The standard tiling pattern for NuSTAR survey observations is a half-shift, i.e. the 12 arcmin field of view is shifted by 6 arcmin between positions. Required for tiling observations.

Tiling Remarks

Explain how the tiling should be done and/or why it is needed. Up to 200 characters. Required for tiling observations.

Stray Light Issue?

Specify the estimated impact of stray light for the observation. Required.
     No
     Possible Contamination
     Heavy Contamination
Extremely bright X-ray sources (>100 mCrab in the 3-79 keV band) within 1 to 5 degrees of a target can cause issues with elevated backgrounds due to stray light. An estimate of the stray light contamination for any target can be obtained using the NuSTAR Target Constraint Visibility Tool available on the NuSTAR SOC website.

Stray Light Description

Describe the nature of the stray light issue. Required if Heavy Contamination is selected. Optional if Possible Contamination is selected. If a field is designated as Heavy Contamination, proposers should submit a request for a feasibility analysis to nustar-help@srl.caltech.edu at least two weeks prior to the proposal deadline.

Position Angle Dependent?

Specifying this option indicates that the observation is dependent on the position angle (PA) of the field of view. The position angle is defined as the angle East of North of the direction of the +DET1Y focal plane axis. At PA = 0 degrees the +DET1X axis points East and the position of the optical axis of the telescopes is approximately 1 arcminute NE of the center of the field of view. See FAQ 25 for more details. A prediction of the PA for a target during the NuSTAR GO cycle can be obtained using the NuSTAR Target Constraint Visibility tool available on the NuSTAR SOC website.

Minimum PA

Minimum PA in degrees. The proposer is responsible for verifying that the scientifically desirable PA is achievable within the operational constraints. Required for a PA-dependent observation.

Maximum PA

Maximum PA in degrees. The proposer is responsible for verifying that the scientifically desirable PA is achievable within the operational constraints. Required for a PA-dependent observation.

Moving Object?

If the target J2000 coordinate position is expected to move by more than 2 arcmin over the course of the proposal cycle, click this checkbox.

Moving Object Description

Provide details on the moving object, how it moves, and its observation. Up to 200 characters. Required for moving objects.

Monitoring Program?

Indicate whether the observation is to be made in more than one exposure (considered a "visit") at pre-determined intervals but with no fixed starting time. Use the Phase Dependent Observations and/or Time Constrained fields in this form if the starting time needs to be on a specific date/time during the proposal cycle. The time interval between successive visits must be ≥ 14 hours. If the time interval between two successive visits is ≤ 1 week, then the observations should also be designated as Time Constrained and a description provided in the Time Constraints Description field.

Monitoring Criteria

Describe the specifics of the monitoring program, such as how far apart in time the object should be observed and the number of times. Up to 400 characters. Required for monitoring programs.

Phase Dependent Observations?

Indicate that the observation is to be spread over a number of intervals with a fixed interval between them and a given reference date. The "Epoch" is the reference date given in MJD and the "Period" is the orbital period of the source in days. The "Minimum Phase" and "Maximum Phase" are the minimum and maximum orbital phases.

Phase Dependent Epoch

For phase dependent observations, the reference date in Modified Julian Date (MJD) number format. The observations will be made at an integral number of Periods from this date. Required for phase-dependent observations.

Phase Dependent Period

The orbital period of the source in days. Required for phase-dependent observations.

Minimum Phase

Minimum orbital phase to be observed. Values must be between 0 and 1. Required for phase-dependent observations.

Maximum Phase

Maximum orbital phase to be observed. Values must be between 0 and 1. Required for phase-dependent observations.

Phase Dependent Remarks

Provide any details related to the phase-dependent observation. Up to 400 characters. Required for phase-dependent observations.

Time Constrained?

If observation of the target should be done at a specific date/time (other than phase-dependent), click this checkbox.

Time Constraints Description

Describe the time constraints of the observation. Up to 500 characters. Required for time constrained observations.

Coordinated Observation?

Indicate whether or not the observation is linked with simultaneous observations with another observatory/mission. The default is no.
     No
     Yes
     Preferred But Not Essential

Coordinating Observatory

Indicate the other observatory/mission with which the observation(s) should be coordinated. Proposals for coordinated observation(s) with the Chandra and/or XMM-Newton observatories will not be considered. Required for coordinated observation(s).

Coordinated Observation Description

Give specifics regarding the coordination of the observation(s). Up to 400 characters. Required for coordinated observation(s).

Continuous Observation Required?

Indicate whether or not a continuous observation of the target is needed. The default is no.

Continuous Observation Justification

Give reasoning and/or specifics for the continuous observation(s). Up to 200 characters. Required for continuous observation(s).

Expected Count Rate Above Background

Give the expected total band (3-79 keV) count rate of the source in counts/second for both modules in a 50% PSF extraction with no deadtime. Proposers may use WebPIMMS to estimate. Proposers who use XSPEC/WebSpec instead should remember to account for both telescopes/modules. The minimum is 0.001, and the maximum is 10000 counts/sec. Targets with estimated count rates outside this range should input the appropriate limit and note the actual estimated rate in the Other Remarks field. Note that a target is designated as bright if the expected count rate above background is 100 counts/sec. The total time available for observations of bright targets in the cycle is 200 ksec. Required.

Other Remarks

Any other relevant comments you wish to make regarding the target and how it is to be observed. Up to 500 characters. Optional.
Suzaku Observation Parameter
If you are requesting an observation through the NuSTAR-Suzaku joint proposal program, you must fill in the amount of time requested for Suzaku observation in kiloseconds. Additional information, such as the justification for the amount of time requested, must be provided in the scientific justification.

Suzaku Time

Specify the total number of kiloseconds requested to observe this target by Suzaku. Requested exposure times may be either zero (if you do not need a particular target to be observed by Suzaku) or between 10 and 500 kiloseconds, which is the the total time allotment of the NuSTAR-Suzaku joint program. This field should only be visible if you have specified you are applying to the NuSTAR-Suzaku joint program. If the field is visible, it is required.