NuSTAR Proposals and Tools
While NuSTAR was initially approved by NASA as a 2-year Principal Investigator-led (PI-led) mission, NuSTAR has now been approved to continue operations through 2018 (subject to review by the 2016 NASA Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions) and to have a dedicated Guest Observer (GO) Program. There are several opportunities for guest observers in the general scientific community to propose for NuSTAR observations.
NuSTAR Guest Observer Program
Additional opportunities to propose for NuSTAR time:
Starting in 2014, NuSTAR solicited guest observer proposals from the general scientific community. Proposals are solicited via NASA's ROSES grant solicitation process. The proposal process is divided into two phases. A Phase 1 proposal is submitted to NASA HEASARC's ARK system, and contains detailed target selection forms and science justification. Proposals may come from both US and non-US researchers. Phase 1 proposals are evaluated by peer panels.
NASA also provides grant funding to support certain selected proposals. These funds are limited to proposals with PIs at US institutions. Selected proposals will receive a notification letter with more details and an invitation to submit a Phase 2 (budget) proposal. Phase 2 proposals are submitted to NASA's NSPIRES system.
NuSTAR Cycle 1 phase 1 proposals are now closed. Those PIs eligible for NASA funding have been notified and received additional instructions on how to submit a Phase 2 (budget) proposal. Please note that the Phase 2 budget proposal deadline has been extended to May 29th, 2015.
Phase 2 Budgets. Proposers eligible for NASA funding should have received additional information about submitting a Phase 2 (budget) proposal in their notification letters. For more information, see the the guide for NuSTAR cycle 1 proposers.
Currently NuSTAR and XMM-Newton have an arrangement which makes available joint observing time for both observatories. This resource allows observers to combine the powers of both observatories to bear on their scientific problems. This resource is extremely limited, so proposers should be sure to describe how their proposed observations exploite the unique capabilities of both observatories. Proposals for this observation time go through the XMM proposal process.
Chandra calls for proposals.
NuSTAR ToO Request Form. ToO proposals must have an astrophysical trigger. Once the trigger criteria have been met for an approved target, the PI should check if the visibility of the target at http://www.srl.caltech.edu/NuSTAR_Public/NuSTAROperationSite/CheckConstraint.php before requesting NuSTAR observations. Accepted Cycle 2 ToO proposals may be triggered until the end of the cycle.
Note that unsolicited ToO requests for exceptional transients will continue to be possible through the NuSTAR ToO web site, even for those not accepted into the GO Program. The decision on whether or not to observe a ToO of either category will be made by the NuSTAR Principal Investigator or her official designee. Such ToO requests are unfunded.
The NuSTAR project has developed tools and documentation to help potential proposers.
NuSTAR Observatory Guide: The NuSTAR team has developed a document which describes the technical capabilities, concept of operation and key information for proposers. Download the current version NuSTAR Observatory Guide (6.9 MB pdf file) (released August 26, 2014).
Count Rate and Spectral Simulations: The standard HEASARC count rate and spectral simulations tools, WebPIMMS and WebSpec, are available for NuSTAR simulations. WebSpec was updated on March 5, 2014 to include the most recent NuSTAR responses and background files. The NuSTAR responses and background files can also be downloaded directly from the Caltech SOC web site and used to simulate spectra in spectral analysis software such as XSPEC. See Section 4.7 of the NuSTAR Observatory Guide for a detailed discussion of how to simulate NuSTAR spectra using XSPEC.
Other issues which proposers should take under consideration are:
If you have any questions concerning NuSTAR or the NuSTAR GO program, visit the Feedback form.