The schedule for RXTE Cycle 11 is as follows:
The RXTE Solicitation (C.7 in Table 2) of the ROSES-2005 Announcement contains detailed information about
- Release Date - January 31, 2005, as part of
** NSPIRES Proposal cover Page Form **
- Due Date for Notices of Intent - September 19, 2005
- Due Date for Proposal Submission - September 19, 2005, 4:30pm ET
- Proposal Peer Review - November, 2005
- Start of Cycle 11 observations - on or around March 1, 2006
This Announcement solicits proposals for participation in the NASA Science
Mission Directorate (SMD)
program to acquire and analyze scientific data from the RXTE X-ray
Observatory, for observations to be carried out in the interval
beginning around March 1, 2006, and lasting for twelve months.
Guest Investigator funding will continue to
be available for RXTE Cycle 11.
The Cycle 11 Peer Review will thus be a two-stage
process, similar to the process used previously for RXTE Cycles 1-4 and
Cycles 8-10. In
the first stage, the scientific and technical merits of submitted
proposals will be assessed. The PIs of proposals that are successful
at Stage 1 will be invited to submit budget requests. These budgets
will be assessed in the Stage 2 review.
In addition to the Remote Proposal Submission (RPS), all proposers must use
- submit a Notice of Intent for each proposal, and
- submit an NSPIRES Cover Page for each proposal
A complete proposal submission will thus include:
To HQ via NSPIRES :
- Notice of Intent
- HQ Cover Page
To GSFC via RPS:
- RPS Cover Page
- Target Forms
- Scientific Justification
Notices of Intent are due on or before September 19, 2005. The
NSPIRES Electronic submission Cover Page and supporting data is due at the time of
submission of the full proposal, on or before September 19, 2005.
NOTE: New with NSPIRES: The organization with which you are affiliated must submit
the NSPIRES electronic proposal, and not the PI.
This information is discussed in the
2005 NASA HQ NRA Proposers Guidebook.
Note that proposers responding to this NRA
should consult the most recent available version of the Guidebook.
If you have questions or problems with submitting NOIs or your HQ
cover pages, please consult the NSPIRES Help Page , or submit your technical
support question to firstname.lastname@example.org..
While the process of submitting proposals for RXTE Cycle 11 is similar
to that used for Cycle 10, there is a major difference. To be compliant,
PIs MUST fill out the NSPIRES
cover page. Electronic submission of science target forms will still be
achieved using RPS. The content of these forms is unchanged. Scientific
justifications will also be submitted electronically using the same submission process used
for Cycles 8-10.
As always, any questions about this process should be directed to the
the RXTE Guest Observer
New Feature of RXTE Cycle 11
Here, we give an overview of important changes between previous
cycles and the current cycle. We also include some information
that is important to keep in mind, but is essentially unchanged
from previous cycles.
- MAJOR CHANGE!: NSPIRES cover page is required for PIs
at US Institutions (PIs at foreign institutions must submit a
Notice of Intent).
Beginning this year, ALL proposals must include an electronic
submission through the
NASA Research Opportunities NSPIRES system.
All PIs submitting proposals from US institutions must complete
and submit electronically an NSPIRES cover page. Generate this cover
page by following the appropriate steps on the NSPIRES page above
(log in with your Member Login-->choose "Proposals"-->click "Create
Proposal" under Active Proposals-->Select Solicitation-->choose
"Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Guest Observer Cycle 11"-->proceed with
your proposal input).
Please note a significant change between NSPIRES
and the system that was used last year. The NSPIRES cover page must be
submitted by an authorized official of the proposing institution; it
be submitted by the PI. In order to do this, the proposing
register with NSPIRES. This change does not apply to submitting Notices
of Intent (NOIs) -- PIs may still submit NOIs themselves.
All PIs located at non-US instititutions must complete and submit
electronically an NSPIRES Notice of Intent (NOI). Generate this
NOI by following the appropriate steps on the NSPIRES page above
(log in with your Member Login-->choose "Proposals"-->click "Create
NOI" under Active NOIs-->choose "Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Guest
Observer Cycle 11-->proceed with your proposal input).
It is a requirement to submit these electronic forms for all RXTE Cycle
11 Stage 1 proposals. Note, you must still complete and submit
electronically a Remote Proposal System (RPS) cover page, general
form, and target form, as in all previous RXTE observing cycles.
Due to the necessity for foreign PIs to submit NOIs, the NOI deadline
for RXTE Cycle 11 is identical to the proposal deadline, September 19,
For help with the NSPIRES system, contact
Software, response matrices for PCA/HEXTE simulations
Response matrices and PHA files for simulations are available via anonymous FTP at legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov in the directory
The proposal aids PIMMS, viewing,
recommd, hextemporize and hexterock are
available on the web or
via anonymous FTP at legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov in the directory
Fully Electronic Proposal Submission for RXTE Cycle 11
RXTE CYCLE 11 PROPOSAL SUBMISSION IS FULLY ELECTRONIC.
NO hardcopies need be sent by postal mail for participation in this
Cycle. RPS submission
of the cover forms is still required. In
addition, the cover forms and scientific justifications should be
submitted electronically as PostScript files.
For electronic submission, PIs should:
Enter their proposal data into
RPS, saving often, and using the
"Verify" button to perform final checks before submission. (This step
is identical to previous RXTE cycles.)
Generate one target form per requested observation, using RPS. You
are required to submit one target form per possible observation.
For example, if you are requesting "the first three of the twenty most
interesting X-ray transients", you should submit twenty (not three)
target forms, one for each possible trigger.
Submit the forms using the 'Submit' button in RPS.
Wait (seconds-minutes) for the RPS acknowledgment, which will
contain a 3-digit proposal submission number.
Create a PostScript file of the forms, using the 'LaTeX' or
'PostScript' buttons within in RPS.
Upload two (2) PostScript files per proposal, via RPS, one
containing the forms, the other the Scientific Justification,
technical feasibility information, and status of previous RXTE
observations ("track record"), as specified in the Announcement and
Appendices - particularly Section C.2.2. Full instructions on how to
upload can be found in RPS. The two files must be named
nnn is the 3-digit proposal submission number supplied by RPS;
flast is the first initial and last name of the PI;
_f is the forms;
_sj is the scientific justification;
e.g.: 017_asmale_f.ps, 017_asmale_sj.ps
Wait (seconds-minutes) for a second RPS acknowledgment, confirming
receipt and completion of the electronic submission process.
Other Features of RXTE Cycle 11
Here, we give an overview of important
to keep in mind, that is essentially unchanged
from previous cycles.
Proposers are specifically encouraged to consider projects
that would profit uniquely from large amounts of observing time,
to enable large-scope investigations to be achieved. Large proposals,
defined as those that request observing times of 500 ksec or more, are
thus allowed 6 pages for the Scientific Problem and Technical
Feasibility section of the proposal (see Information for Proposers C.1.1, C.2.2.2).
The PCA is currently being operated with
reduced duty cycles for three out of the five PCU
detectors. Proposers should calculate exposure times
and discuss technical feasibility with an expectation of using an
average of three PCUs. If special circumstances warrant or require the
use of four or five PCUs for an observation (e.g., faint source
spectroscopy or investigations of weak QPO signals), then a quantative
justification must be clearly stated in the Technical Feasibility
section. (Although every effort will be made to fulfill requests
for more than three PCUs, operational limitations make it impossible
to guarantee that the requested number of PCUs will be available.) In
addition, it should be noted that some observations, especially those
for source monitoring and/or extragalactic sources, may be conducted
with two PCUs, and proposers should discuss the expected impact
of this limitation on their observing program.
- This Cycle covers 12 months of observing time.
- All proposals submitted in response to this Announcement must
be for new pointed RXTE observations using the PCA and/or HEXTE
instruments. Proposals for analysis of ASM data, proposals for
analysis of archival RXTE data, and proposals for complementary
observations or theoretical work that do not require new pointed
observations should not be submitted.
- As before, proposers who have previously been
awarded RXTE observing time are required to append a page to their
proposal listing by Cycle, title, and proposal number their previously
accepted RXTE proposals and the status of the data analysis or publications
that have followed from them.
- A Cycle 11 proposal for a target
already accepted for observation by RXTE in one or more of the
previous Cycles is likely to be more successful at
the peer review if it has a different observing plan or scientific
emphasis from previous proposals, and the scientific investigation
cannot be completed with archival data. The Cycle 1,
and Cycle 10
programs can be perused in their entireity by following the links
just given, or browsed using
- Unobserved TOO targets approved in the previous Cycle must be
reproposed for Cycle 11, if the PI still wants to observe them. The
observing status of Cycle 10 TOOs can be found on the SOF's
- For TOO proposals, the probability that the TOO will be
triggered during the Cycle must be estimated. Include the estimate, and
any justification, in the proposal text.
- Alternate targets are no longer supported due to the
- Faint source exposure times for the HEXTE may be as long as
It was earlier stated that cosmic background fluctuations would dominate Poisson errors for exposures above 100-200ks. However, new estimates which account for the 40% dead-time fraction and loss of detector PWB2 indicate that this faint source confusion limit may not be reached until at least 500ks - see the new HEXTE Feasibility Chapter for details.
- The minimum observing time that can be requested for a single pointing is 1000 seconds. This limit applies to raster scans and monitoring observations as well as to single observations.
If you'd like to be a Peer Reviewer ....
The RXTE Cycle 11 Peer Review will take place in the Baltimore/Washington
area in mid-November 2005.
Reviewers must have a PhD at the time of the Peer Review.
If you would like to be considered as a
reviewer, please email Mike Arida at
RXTE Instrument Configurations: the easy route
For all sources with total PCA count rates less than 1200/s (including
all extragalactic observations) and HEXTE count rates less than 80/s,
the SOC strongly recommends that
proposers use the following set of instrument configurations:
PCA EA1: Standard1
PCA EA2: Standard2
PCA EA3: GoodXenon1_2s
PCA EA4: GoodXenon2_2s
PCA EA5: Idle
PCA EA6: Idle
HEXTE Cluster A: E_8us_256_DX1f
HEXTE Cluster B: E_8us_256_DX1f
Note that RPS does not allow one to leave an EA
unused. In this case one has to explicitly specify "Idle".
Use defaults for all other HEXTE parameters.
Note that this advice does not relieve the proposer from the
obligation of providing estimates for the expected event count rates.
In these cases there is no need to run recommd or elaborately justify
the chosen configurations.
If you have a question about RXTE, please send email to one of our