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 Swift proposal cycle forms, as part of the ROSES NRA. Electronic submission of the proposal forms is required. The scientific justification must also be submitted electronically, uploaded as a 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 Swift Team Annual Fill-In web form, you must first create an ARK account and/or join the SWIFTTEAM group.

If you already have an ARK account, login first and select "Join Group" from the menu next to "Swift Team Annual Fill-In (SWIFTTEAM)" 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 "Swift Team Annual Fill-In (SWIFTTEAM)" 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 Swift Team Annual Fill-In web form and fill it out 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, 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 Swift proposal forms to ARK/RPS. You may now upload your scientific 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 Type

Choose the type of proposal you will be submitting from the following list of options:
  1. Theoretical GRB and non-GRB investigations (funding only)
  2. Correlative GRB observations involving new or enhanced IR ground-based capabilities for investigating high redshift bursts (funding only)
  3. Other correlative GRB investigations (funding only)
  4. New Swift GRB projects (funding only)
  5. Swift TOO observations of GRB or non-GRB targets (observations and funding for US PIs)
  6. Swift non-TOO observations of non-GRB targets (observations and funding for US PIs)
  7. Swift fill-in targets (observations only)
  8. Large programs (requesting more than 100 targets or more than 100 ks total exposure time)
The type of proposal you select will determine whether or not you need to fill in at least one target form. Required.

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. Required.

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, as well as the anticipated budget and NASA FTE commitment. 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.

Target Form(s)

This section contains the details that need to be filled in for each different target. Note: See the Swift Cycle 9 FAQ on Fill-in Targets for further details.

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).

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 generic Target of Opportunity (e.g., new supernovae) 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 generic Target of Opportunity (e.g., new supernovae) whose position is unknown at the time of proposal submission, please specify "0.0" for both the R.A. and Dec. fields. Required.

Source Type or Description

Select the type/description of the targeted source from the list provided. If you select "Other," then you must elaborate in the space provided (up to 25 characters). Required.

Instrument Most Critical to Science Goals

Select the instrument from the list provided that is most critical to achieving your science goals. Required.

Aspect of Observation Most Critical to Science Goals

Select the aspect of the observation from the list provided that is most critical to achieving your science goals. Required.

Total Observation Time

The preferred duration in kiloseconds for observing the target. This is the total observation time, so this is the sum of all pointings. The minimum time is 1 ksec. Required.

Estimated XRT Count Rate

Source count rate in counts/sec typical of the source. Required.

V Magnitude of Proposed Source

The V magnitude of the proposed source or target of the observation. If unknown, then leave this field blank.
Note about optical loading of the XRT instrument: Bright optical sources can leak through the thin XRT optical blocking filter, causing "optical loading" that can severely complicate or compromise analysis of the X-ray data. There are several possible mitigations to this problem, but no good solutions. In general, objects brighter than 8 magnitude (V < 8 mag) should not be observed in PC mode. Objects brighter than 5 magnitude (V < 5 mag) should not be observed in any mode, as the data will be poorly calibrated and may be useless. If you have an extremely compelling science case that requires such an observation, we strongly suggest that you contact the Swift Help Desk to discuss the observation before submitting your proposal.

XRT Mode

Select the XRT mode from the list provided. Required.
Photon Counting (PC) Mode
PC mode generates images with 2.5-s time resolution and is best suited to count rates below 0.5 cps. PC mode can be used for higher count rates, but the data will be piled up and will require special processing by the user. Choose PC mode if your science goal is to determine a good X-ray position. A two-dimensional image is generated. This mode allows the user to derive spectra at the CCD resolution.
Windowed Timing (WT) Mode
WT mode produces 1-D images with about 2-ms time resolution and is best suited to count rates over 1 cps. WT mode has higher background than PC mode. Choose WT mode if your science goal requires high-resolution timing. This mode allows the user to derive spectra at the CCD resolution.
Automatic (AUTO) Mode
Auto mode allows the instrument to choose the mode automatically, based on the count rate. Sometimes subject to "mode switching", which can result in a loss of useful data. Choose this mode when the X-ray count rate is unknown; the instrument will then select the mode automatically. Useful data results, unless the target is affected by scattered light from the bright earth.

UVOT Filter Mode

Select the UVOT filter mode from the list provided. Required. In order to preserve UVOT filter wheel rotations, any filter mode other than "Filter of the Day" needs a strong justification. If you select "Custom," then you must specify the mode in the Remarks field.

Remarks

Any relevant comments you wish to make regarding the target or its observation. Up to 500 characters.