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Astro-E2 GO Program (Cycle 1) Announcement

This announcement is intended for US-based researchers on this list.
If your affiliation is with an institution outside the US, please consult
one of the alternative URLs listed below in the Overview section.

			Astro-E2 Guest Observer Facility
			on behalf of NASA HQ and
			the Astro-E2 project

Announcement of Opportunity - Astro-E2 Guest Observer Program, Cycle 1

1. Overview

This announcement solicits proposals for participation in the NASA
program for conduct of space science observations with the Astro-E2
X-ray observatory, which is scheduled to be launched in February 2005.
Cycle 1 covers observations for one year starting in September 2005.

Following the bilateral agreement between ISAS (Institute of Space and
Astronautical Science)/JAXA (Japan Aero-space Exploration Agency) and
NASA, this announcement only applies to US-based researchers.

Scientists outside the US should consult the parallel announcement at ISAS


except scientists in ESA member countries, who should consult


2. Astro-E2 X-ray observatory

The mission is equipped with five high-throughput X-ray telescopes
(XRTs) which cover energies up to 12 keV. A high-resolution spectrometer
(XRS) and four CCD cameras (XIS) are placed at foci of the telescopes. A
hard X-ray detector (HXD) points in the same direction as the XRTs and
covers energies up to 600 keV. The major features of Astro-E2 are
high-resolution (E/dE ~ 1000 at 6 keV) spectroscopy in the 0.2-12 keV
energy range and the broad energy coverage from 0.2 to 600 keV attained
by combining data acquired simultaneously by the different instruments.
Since the cryogen lifetime is limited (estimated to be about 2.5 years),
early phase observations should emphasize use of the
cryogenically-cooled XRS.  The detailed mission description can be
found at the Astro-E2 Guest Observer Facility website at


3. Mission phases and time allocation

Operations are divided into three distinct phases and some sub-phases.

Phase-0 comprises the first month when the basic functions of the
satellite will be tested, the optical bench extended, doors opened, and
scientific instruments switched on. Phase-I starts when the mission is
ready for scientific observations and lasts until the XRS becomes
unusable due to lack of cryogen, approximately 2.5 years after launch.
Phase-I will be divided into three or four sub-phases (Ia - Ic; Phase Id
will be added if the cryogen lifetime exceeds 2.5 years). In Phase-II,
the XRS will no longer be available but the XIS and HXD will continue
operating. The following table summarizes the sharing of time for all
phases between guest observes from Japan, US, and worldwide, and members
of the /Astro-E2/ Science Working Group. A portion of the Japanese time
has been allocated for ESA observers, while non-US, non-ESA observers
are required to propose for the Japanese time.

Phase    (terms)       SWG      Japan   (ESA)   US      J/US
Phase-0  (< 1 Mo)        0%      0%      (0%)    0%      0%
Phase-Ia (2-7 Mo)      100       0       (0)     0       0
Phase-Ib (8-19 Mo)      25      37.5     (6)    32.5     5
Phase Ic (20-31 Mo)     15      42.5     (7)    37.5     5
Phase Id (32-? Mo)       0      50       (8)    37.5    12.5
Phase-II                 0      60       (10)   30      10

The present announcement covers observations in Phase-Ib. Observatory
time of 5 % is reserved for the maintenance and calibration of the
mission. 3 % is assigned to observations of targets of opportunity
(TOO). The rest of observation time is allocated as shown in the table.
In this cycle (Phase-Ib), the actual US observation time is estimated to
be 3,980 ksec. If two individual proposals are recommended in the US and
Japan for the same target then they will be merged provided that both
PIs presented their wish to collaborate on the application form.
Proposals from non-US, non-ESA countries will be accepted in the
Japanese time up to the ESA portion.

4. Observing Constraints

The Science Working Group of Astro-E2 have decided the target list of
observations for the SWG time in Phase-Ia and Ib. Proposals to observe
targets in this list will not be accepted without a strong
justification, such as a much longer exposure, different pointing within
an extended object, or different observing window of a variable object.

The length of the observation time must be justified in the proposal by
showing the feasibility using simulations. Due to operational
constraints, the minimum exposure time allowed is 10 ksec. Though there
is no upper limit on exposure in principle, longer proposals should, in
general, address more important science.

Observations can be requested for a specific time (such as for specific
binary phase) or for simultaneous campaigns (time critical
observations). Target of opportunity (TOO) observations can be proposed
for rapidly evolving phenomena of high scientific importance whose
occurrence cannot be predicted accurately. Such a proposal should state
specific target names, position, triggering conditions, duration of
events and the possibility of occurrence. Proposals for generic TOOs
(e.g., the next Galactic supernova) are not allowed. A separate
mechanism will be established for such unpredictable targets.

The SWG has allocated 200 ksec to perform coordinated observations of
gamma-ray bursts following alerts from other monitoring satellites.
Therefore, no other proposals will be accepted for gamma-ray bursts.

5. Review process and schedule

Proposals may be submitted from May 18 through August 18. US proposals
will be judged by a peer-review panel convened by NASA. Selected
observations will then be merged with Japanese and ESA proposals. The
final list will be announced in December 2004. Accepted targets are
prioritized in three categories. "A" targets must be observed during the
term. "B" targets will be observed during the term but could be carried
over to the next term. "C" targets can be observed if there is a slot of
observation time but they will not be carried over if not done during
the term. The fraction of observation time is A:B:C = 50%:40%:50% (40%
more than the available time). TOO and time critical observations should
be scientifically more important (category "A" targets).

6. Data rights

The data will be delivered to the successful proposer after standard
processing and will be moved to the public domain one year after the
time of delivery. The data from Phase-Ia (100% SWG time) will be opened
to the public at the end of Phase-Ib. The data from generic TOOs and
gamma-ray bursts observed in the mission TOO or SWG time will belong to
the Astro-E2 team for one year (at least during Phase-Ia and Ib).

==========================Cycle 1 Proposal Submission===================

1. Observations

X-ray observations with Astro-E2 observatory from September 2005
through August 2006.

2. Who may propose

Principal investigators (PIs) must be affiliated with institutions in
the US. PIs whose institutions are in ESA member countries must submit
their proposals to ESA, while other researchers must submit their
proposals to ISAS.

3. Due date of proposals

Proposers are strongly encouraged to submit a Notice-of-Intent form
by June 16, 2004.  Proposals are due on August 18, 2004.

4. Proposal format

Following materials are required.

   1. Electronically submitted cover page/proposal summary as instructed
      in the NRA.
   2. RPS (Remote Proposal Submission system) forms, to be submitted
      electronically to the Astro-E2 GOF.  The deadline for this is 5pm
      on August 18, 2004.
   3. PostScript files of the RPS forms, as well as 4 page (PostScript)
      Scientific Justification, must also be uploaded to the Astro-E2
      GOF through RPS by the 5 pm, August 18, deadline. 

No hard copy submissions are required at this stage.

5. Supplemental Information

For additional materials, including a technical description of the
Astro-E2 mission and further details of the proposal process,
please consult


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