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RXTE Cycle 13 Information RXTE
FAQ

NASA has approved extending RXTE operations beyond the nominal end of Cycle 12 (December 2008) through September 2009. In order to provide targets for this extended period, the RXTE team is implementing a new, shortened proposal cycle, based on plans outlined in the 2008 Senior Review proposal. Cycle 13 will be very different from previous RXTE Cycles - please read the information below carefully in order to participate.

Cycle 13 Proposal Peer Review On or about Dec. 8, 2008;
results public ~2 weeks later

Contents:


Changes for Cycle 13

  • All Cycle 13 Data will be Immediately Public - there are No Proprietary Observations in Cycle 13.
    The new Cycle 13 program will consist solely of public observations. All Cycle 13 observations will begin with the numbers "94..." and will immediately be made public. This includes both "Core Program" and "Open-Time Program" observations (see next item). Note that non-TOO observations from previous Cycles that are not completed by December 25, 2008 (the nominal end of Cycle 12) may be scheduled during the Cycle 13 observing period, but will retain their proprietary status. For example, if proposal 93000 was a non-TOO proposal that was not observed by December 25, then it would be scheduled after December 25, the observations would still be named 93000-XX-XX-XX, and the data would receive the normal one year proprietary period.

  • Cycle 13 will have two components: a "Core Program" and an "Open-Time Program."
    As described in the "Dear Colleague" letter from NASA HQ, Cycle 13 observations will be drawn from two sources. The first is a Core Program made up of observations that are widely recognized to be of the highest priority for the mission, having passed a peer review in many successive observing cycles. These observations will be automatically included in the Cycle 13 observing schedule beginning December 26, 2008. The second component of Cycle 13 is an "Open-Time Program," where proposals for new observations are solicited from the community and peer reviewed. Those accepted will enter the Cycle 13 schedule on or around March 1, 2009, to allow sufficient time for proposal submission and review. As stated above, both Core Program and Open-Time Program data will be immediately public.

  • Cycle 13 proposals will have only ONE PAGE of explanatory text.
    The scientific justification, feasibility, and any explanatory figures must be no more than one page, total, formatted for standard US 8.5" x 11" paper in 10 pt. or larger font. Users must fill out a Cover Page (PI info and abstract), General Form, and Target Form(s) in ARK/RPS, and upload the one page of text as a PDF file. For more information, see our Guide for Proposal Submission, below.

  • Cycle 13 nominally ends September 30, 2009.
    The RXTE mission currently has funding for observations through September 2009. The team and NASA HQ are exploring ways to continue RXTE observations beyond that time. The Open-Time program solicits proposals for the time frame from March through September 2009, however, we will likely select more observing time than can be performed through September 30, 2009, so that we can schedule more efficiently and will have targets available if RXTE operations are extended beyond that time. Thus, all proposals accepted for Cycle 13 may not be observed, if RXTE operations end as currently scheduled in September 2009.

  • No Guest Observer funding available for Cycle 13.
    As in other recent RXTE Cycles, there will be no GO funds available for Cycle 13.

Cycle 13 Announcement ("Dear Colleague" Letter) & Core Program

  • Cycle 13 "Dear Colleague" letter
    Cycle 13 was announced as a "Dear Colleague" letter from NASA HQ on September 19, 2008. The letter details the conditions and context for RXTE Cycle 13, and is the primary reference for Cycle 13 proposers.
  • Cycle 13 Core Program
    Part of the scheduled observations for Cycle 13 will be a "Core Program" based on monitoring and target of opportunity proposals in place in Cycle 12, most of which have passed several peer reviews as providing important science for RXTE. Proposals which duplicate these observations should NOT be proposed for Cycle 13. See the "Dear Colleague" letter above for details.

Schedule for Cycle 13

"Dear Colleague" letter released September 19, 2008
Due Date for Proposal Submission October 30, 2008, 17:00 EDT
Proposal Peer Review on or about December 8, 2008
Start of Cycle 13 Core Program observations December 26, 2008
Start of Cycle 13 Open-Time Program observations on or about March 1, 2009
Nominal end of Cycle 13 September 2009 1

    1 The RXTE mission currently has funding for observations through September 2009. The team and NASA HQ are exploring ways to continue RXTE observations beyond that time. The Open-Time program solicits proposals for the time frame from March through September 2009, however, we will likely select more observing time than can be done through September 30, 2009 so that we can schedule more efficiently and will have targets available if RXTE operations are extended beyond that time.

Guide for Proposal Submission

As with previous RXTE Cycles, proposal submission will be via HEASARC's Remote Proposal Submission system (ARK/RPS). Please follow these guidelines, in order to submit your proposal:

  1. Register with ARK/RPS and/or join the "RXTE RPS (XTE)" Group, if you have not already done so.

  2. Enter your proposal data using the ARK/RPS for RXTE instructions. Please keep in mind the following:

  3. Generate one target form per requested observation, using ARK/RPS. You are required to submit one target form per possible observation. For example, if you are requesting "the first three of the twenty most interesting X-ray transients", you should submit twenty (not three) target forms, one for each possible trigger. Note that TOO and non-TOO targets cannot be combined in a single proposal. Each proposal must contain only TOO or only non-TOO targets.

  4. PIs at non-US locations should prepare the PostScript files for their Scientific Justifications using US paper sizes, or risk truncation of their text if/when peer reviewers print it. In LaTeX, paper sizes can be adjusted using
            \setlength{\textwidth}{6.75in}
            \setlength{\textheight}{8.70in}
    
    or similar.

  5. Your proposal is complete when you have submitted each of the following:
      Cover Page
      General Form
      Target Form(s)
      Scientific Justification (one page, PDF format)

Proposal Tools and Other Resources

  1. Response matrices and PHA files for simulations are available via anonymous FTP at legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov in the directory xte/nra/responses.

  2. The proposal aids PIMMS, viewing, recommd, hextemporize and hexterock are available on the web or via anonymous FTP at legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov in the directory xte/nra/software.

  3. See RXTE Instrument Configurations: the easy route for help in choosing RXTE instrument configurations appropriate to your observation.

  4. The RXTE Technical Appendix gives in-depth details of the RXTE pointed instruments and their configurations.

Getting Help/FAQ

If you have questions about the new rules for Cycle 13, please see our Cycle 13 FAQ, first.

For help with ARK/RPS, see ARK/RPS for RXTE. If that doesn't answer your questions, you may write to the RPS Help Desk.

For all other questions, please send mail to the RXTE Guest Observer Facility Help Desk.


If you have a question about RXTE, please send email to one of our help desks.

This page is maintained by the RXTE GOF and was last modified on Friday, 21-Nov-2008 12:52:07 EST.