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Suzaku Guest Observer Facility

Call for Proposals of Suzaku Key Projects

The Suzaku satellite has provided unique X-ray data from 0.2 to 600 keV with its combination of the X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS) and Hard X-ray Detector (HXD) since its launch in July 2005. For the next observing cycle (AO-9) from April 2014 through March 2015, the Suzaku mission solicits Key Project proposals. Key Projects are defined as comprehensive observing programs sampling a number of objects of a particular class, or surveying a large region of the sky, in order to take maximum advantage of the unique attributes of Suzaku to address important astrophysical problems. Investigators are invited to propose Key Projects to NASA or JAXA, depending on their affiliation, according to the same policy as the ordinary observation program. As these projects require a substantial investment of observing time, proposers are encouraged to include in their team US and Japanese collaborators.

The Suzaku project plans to reserve up to 2 Ms for the Key Projects in AO-9, by drawing time from the US-J collaborative category and both US and Japanese national times. Until AO-7, if a Key Project required more than the time available in a year it was extended until complete. In AO-9, on the other hand, only the proposals that can achieve their scientific objectives within the AO-9 period are accepted.


Key Project proposals have the same components as the ordinary guest observer proposals. They consist of a scientific justification, a feasibility demonstration of both observations and program, and a target list. The scientific justification must explain the scientific problem, how the proposed observations address this problem, and how the proposed program makes use of the strengths of Suzaku. The Suzaku project expects that the Key Projects data will not be of temporary scientific interest, instead remaining as a legacy of Suzaku for a long time to come. All Key Project proposals must be written in English. Up to 8 pages are allowed for the science justification (text, figures, and tables).

Data rights

All Key Project data flow directly into the Suzaku public archive. This guarantees maximum exploitation of the data. The PI of a successful proposal will be expected to serve as the scientific lead for observation planning.

Time critical and TOO Key Projects

Operational constraints preclude the possibility that a Key Project consists entirely of time critical (TC) observations or TOOs. It is possible to include in a Key Project a subset of constrained observations. As is the case for constrained observations during the regular proposal cycle, the imposition of a constraint or the need for a TOO must be well justified. 15% is the guideline of TC+TOO time for Key Projects.

Proposal selection

Key Project proposals will be solicited and submitted as part of the AO-9 call for GO proposals. The initial screening of these proposals will be made by the respective national review panels. The final selection of Key Projects will be made at the Suzaku international merging committee meeting. Proposers with highly ranked proposals in the national programs will be invited to present and discuss their proposal in a Key Project workshop to be held in Japan on February 15, 2014, which is open to all scientists. The final selection of the Key Projects in AO-9 will be made in the merging committee meeting immediately after the workshop. Note that all PIs of on-going Key Projects that were selected in previous cycles but are not yet completed are required to participate in the Key Project workshop to present an overview of their achievement so that the merging committee can judge whether the program should be continued in AO-9 or terminated in AO-8. If the PIs of the on-going key projects need to change their observation strategy, such as increasing number of targets or exposure time etc., they should resubmit the proposal.

Since the Key Projects will be selected at the same time as targets for the general guest observer program, care will be exercised to minimize disruption of the general program. In particular, if a target proposed in a Key Project appears in a regular GO proposal with an equal or longer observing time and is ranked A, the target will be awarded to the PI of the regular proposal, with full one-year proprietary rights.

Proposal submission to US

Principal Investigators (PIs) affiliated with institutions in the US should submit Key Project proposals to NASA for X-ray observations with the Suzaku observatory from April 2014. PIs outside the US must submit their proposals to ISAS/JAXA. It is forbidden for the same group to submit identical Key Project proposals both to NASA and to ISAS/JAXA. Key Project proposals to NASA are due at 4:30 EST on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, to be submitted electronically using the ARK/RPS system. Detailed instructions, including the link to the ARK/RPS system, will be published in late September.

On-going Key Projects

The Key Project proposal, "Characterization of solar wind charge exchange," was originally selected in AO-7 and is eligible for continuation during AO-9.

September 3, 2013

Kazuhisa Mitsuda (Project Manager, ISAS/JAXA)
Tadayuki Takahashi (Project Sub-manager, ISAS/JAXA)
Hideyo Kunieda (Project Scientist, Nagoya University)

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This file was last modified on Tuesday, 03-Sep-2013 14:03:50 EDT

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