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 2025 (subject to further extension by the 2025 NASA Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions) and to have a dedicated General Observer (GO) Program. There are several opportunities for guest observers in the general scientific community to propose for NuSTAR observations.
General Observer Program
Instrument & Observatory Information
Additional Opportunities to Propose for NuSTAR Time
Proposal Planning Tools
Starting in 2014, NuSTAR solicited general 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. NuSTAR data from approved GO observations have a nominal six-month exclusive-use period commencing at the time of receipt of the processed data by the observer. NuSTAR data from peer review approved ToO observations continue to 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.
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:
3. Grant information
U.S. PI's whose Phase-1 proposals were assigned a Category A or B rating by the peer review panel or accepted in Category L (Large Program) will be invited to submit a Phase-2 (cost) proposal. The detailed instructions are found here. US PIs of approved proposals with priority C targets only will be eligible for a $20,000 grant, awarded through NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), if observations are performed. No Phase 2 budget submission is required for these proposals.
4. Additional opportunities to propose for NuSTAR time
Unsolicited ToO or DDT requests for exceptional transients will continue to be possible through the NuSTAR ToO web site, specifically for events or sources that could not have been predicted or proposed for in GO programs. The decision on whether to perform an unsolicited ToO or DDT observation will be made by the NuSTAR Principal Investigator or her official designee. Such ToO requests are unfunded and do not have an exclusive-use period.
If you have any questions concerning NuSTAR or the NuSTAR GO program, visit the Feedback form.