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RXTE Cycle 14 Information RXTE
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NASA has approved extending RXTE operations through September 2010. In order to provide an observing plan for this extended period, the RXTE team is implementing a proposal cycle very similar to that enacted for Cycle 13. Cycles 13 & 14 are very different from earlier RXTE Cycles - please read the information below carefully in order to participate.

Cycle 14 Proposals Due: August 13, 2009 at 17:00 EDT

Contents:


Special Rules for Cycle 14

  • All Cycle 14 Data will be Immediately Public - there are No Proprietary Observations in Cycle 14.
    The Cycle 14 program will consist solely of public observations. All Cycle 14 observations will begin with the numbers "95..." and will immediately be made public. This includes both "Core Program" and "Open-Time Program" observations (see next item). Note that non-TOO observations left over from Cycle 12 and earlier that are scheduled during Cycle 14 will retain their proprietary status. For example, if proposal 93000 was a non-TOO proposal that was accepted for Cycle 12 but has not yet been performed, then when it is performed its observations will still be named 93000-XX-XX-XX, and the data will receive the normal one year proprietary period.

  • Cycle 14 will have two components: a "Core Program" and an "Open-Time Program."
    As described in the "Dear Colleague" letter from NASA HQ, Cycle 14 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 14 observing schedule, as a continuation of the corresponding Cycle 13 observations. The second component of Cycle 14 is an "Open-Time Program," where proposals for new observations are solicited from the community and peer reviewed. Those accepted will be scheduled as part of Cycle 14, beginning January 1, 2010. As stated above, both Core Program and Open-Time Program data will be immediately public.

  • Cycle 14 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 justification as a PDF file. For more information, see our Guide for Proposal Submission, below.

  • Cycle 14 nominally ends September 30, 2010.
    The RXTE mission currently has funding for observations through September 2010. 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 January through September 2010, however, we will likely select more observing time than can be performed through September 30, 2010, 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 14 may not be observed, if RXTE operations end as currently scheduled in September 2010.

  • No Guest Observer funding available for Cycle 14.
    As in other recent RXTE Cycles, there will be no GO funds available for Cycle 14.

Cycle 14 Announcement ("Dear Colleague" Letter) & Core Program

  • Cycle 14 "Dear Colleague" letter
    Cycle 14 was announced as a "Dear Colleague" letter from NASA HQ on June 18, 2009. The letter details the conditions and context for RXTE Cycle 14, and is the primary reference for Cycle 14 proposers.
  • Cycle 14 Core Program
    Part of the scheduled observations for Cycle 14 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 14. See the "Dear Colleague" letter above for details.

Schedule for Cycle 14

"Dear Colleague" letter released June 18, 2009
Due Date for Proposal Submission August 13, 2009, 17:00 EDT
Proposal Peer Review mid/late October 2009
Start of Cycle 14 observations
(Core & Open-Time Programs)
January 1, 2010
Nominal end of Cycle 14 September 20101

    1 The RXTE mission currently has funding for observations through September 2010. 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 January through September 2010, however, we will likely select more observing time than can be done through September 30, 2010 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 including graphics, 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 14, please see our Cycle 14 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 Thursday, 18-Jun-2009 14:45:30 EDT.