We are excited to announce that the TESS Cycle 3 proposal call has been released. TESS Cycle 3 observations will be collected during the first year of the extended mission, running from July 2020 until June 2021. All Cycle 3 fields are in the Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere. Please make sure to take a careful look at the call because there are some significant changes from the previous two cycles. Changes include:
- A new 20-second cadence mode will potentially be available. Once commissioned, approximately 1,000 target slots per sector will be available in this mode. Guest Investigator (GI) observations in this mode will be collected at "shared risk"
- A 10-fold increase in the number of 2-minute cadence targets is available to the GI program. More than 15,000 target slots will be available in each sector; a total of approximately 200,000 target slots are available in Cycle 3, facilitating very large GI programs
- The full-frame image cadence is planned to be reduced from 30 minutes to 10 minutes. This change in cadence will be considered a "shared risk"
- A new Key Project proposal category is available. These programs have a maximum duration of 27 months. The programs may be continued into TESS Cycle 4 and may propose to select targets in both Cycles 3 and 4 (although only Cycle 3 target lists are solicited at this time)
- Ground-based observing focused programs are solicited provided they support the analysis and/or interpretation of TESS data
- Large programs and Key Projects have a 5-page limit for the scientific/technical/management section
- References are not included in the page limits
- Up to 100 ks of Swift time will be available for joint TESS-Swift proposals
- Starting in Cycle 3, proposals aimed at detecting small planets in 2-minute cadence data are solicited
The proposals are due on January 16, 2020 at 4.30pm EST.