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RXTE Information - Cycle 9 Guest Observer Program RXTE

The schedule for RXTE Cycle 9 is as follows:

  • Release Date - January 31, 2003, as part of ROSS-03
  • Due Date for Notices of Intent - July 11, 2003
  • Due Date for Proposal Submission - September 12, 2003, 4:30pm ET
  • Proposal Peer Review - November, 2003
  • Start of Cycle 9 observations - on or around March 1, 2004
The RXTE front page of the ROSS-03 Announcement contains detailed information about the program.

This Announcement solicits proposals for participation in the NASA OSS 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, 2004, and lasting for twelve months.

Beginning in 2002/2003, for Cycle 8, Guest Investigator funding was reestablished, and will continue to be available for RXTE Cycle 9. The Cycle 9 Peer Review will thus be a two-stage process, similar to the process used previously for RXTE Cycles 1-4 and Cycle 8. 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.

As was also the case for Cycle 8: NASA HQ has requested that proposers

  • submit a Notice of Intent for each proposal, and
  • submit an additional Cover Page for each proposal

A complete proposal submission will thus include:
To HQ:

  • 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 July 11, 2003. The additional HQ Cover Page is due at the time of submission of the full proposal, on or before September 12, 2003.

Further details on Notices of Intent and Cover Page can be found in Section 6 of the ROSS-03 Announcement. This information is also discussed in Chapter 3.1 of the 2003 NASA HQ NRA Proposers Guidebook and in Appendix E.1 of the 2003 Guidebook. Note that proposers responding to this NRA should consult the 2003 version of the Guidebook.

If you have questions or problems with submitting NOIs or your HQ cover pages, please consult the NASA HQ Proposal Submission FAQ Page , or submit your technical support question to proposals@hq.nasa.gov.

The process of submitting proposals for RXTE Cycle 9 is identical to that used for Cycle 8. Electronic submission of 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 7 and 8.

As always, any questions about this process should be directed to the the RXTE Guest Observer Facility.

Further Information

Software, response matrices for PCA/HEXTE simulations

  • Response matrices and PHA files for simulations are available via anonymous FTP at heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov in the directory xte/nra/responses.

  • The proposal aids PIMMS, viewing, recommd, hextemporize and hexterock are available on the web or via anonymous FTP at heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov in the directory xte/nra/software.

    Fully Electronic Proposal Submission for RXTE Cycle 9


    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.

    If you have questions or problems with submitting NOIs or your HQ cover pages, please consult the NASA HQ Proposal Submission FAQ Page , or submit your technical support question to proposals@hq.nasa.gov.

    For the rest of their electronic submission, PIs should:

    1. 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.)

    2. 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.

    3. Submit the forms using the 'Submit' button in RPS.

    4. Wait (seconds-minutes) for the RPS acknowledgment, which will contain a 3-digit proposal submission number.

    5. Create a PostScript file of the forms, using the 'LaTeX' or 'PostScript' buttons within in RPS.

    6. 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_flast_f.ps

      • nnn_flast_sj.ps


      • 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

    7. Wait (seconds-minutes) for a second RPS acknowledgment, confirming receipt and completion of the electronic submission process.


    • When using RPS, remember to frequently save the html file containing your form entries. Files you're working on can be saved to your hard disk, and reloaded from there, with the RPS 'Save' and 'Reload' buttons.

    • If electronic submission is infeasible for you, please contact the RXTE Guest Observer Facility to make alternative arrangements.

    • PIs at non-US locations should prepare the PostScript files for their Scientific Justifications using US paper sizes, or risk truncation of their text when the GOF prints out copies of the proposals for the Peer Reviewers. In LaTeX, paper sizes can be adjusted using

      or similar.

    Other Important Features of Cycle 9

    Here, we list other factors that potential RXTE proposers should be aware of. This section is basically unchanged from the previous Cycles.

    If you'd like to be a Peer Reviewer ....

    The RXTE Cycle 9 Peer Review will take place in the Baltimore/Washington area in mid-November 2003.

    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 peer_review@rosserv.gsfc.nasa.gov.

    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
    help desks.

    This page is maintained by the RXTE GOF and was last modified on Wednesday, 24-Aug-2022 11:10:30 EDT.