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, containing detailed target selection forms and a concise science justification. Proposals may come from both US and non-US researchers. Phase 1 proposals are evaluated by peer review panels. Data from approved GO observations, with the exception of Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations, have a nominal one-year exclusive-use period commencing at the time of receipt of the processed data by the observer. Data from peer review approved ToO observations have a six-month exclusive-use period.
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.
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 2 proposers.
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.
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 (7.3 MB pdf file) (released June 2016).
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. If detailed background modeling is required, the "nuskybgd" NuSTAR background simulation toolkit is is available from the User-Contributed NuSTAR Software page.
Other issues which proposers should take under consideration are:
NuSTAR GOs receiving NASA grants are required to file a Summary of Research Report detailing their supported activities. The report instructions can be found here.
If you would like to file a no-cost extension, please take at https://answers.nssc.nasa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/5907. To request a No-Cost Extension please go to: https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/nocostextension.
Additional opportunities to propose for NuSTAR time
In the INTEGRAL Fourteenth Announcement of Opportunity released on February 29th, 2016, ESA is providing the opportunity to propose for coordinated observations of INTEGRAL with NuSTAR for a total of 100 ks of available time. The deadline for INTEGRAL AO-14 proposals is April 8th, 2016.
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 exploit the unique capabilities of both observatories. While joint XMM-Newton and NuSTAR proposals within the NuSTAR Guest Observer Program are now also possible, proposals for additional observation time can go through the XMM proposal process.
If you have any questions concerning NuSTAR or the NuSTAR GO program, visit the Feedback form.