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XTENEWS#12: AO-2 Proposals Due 1st July: Software/Info Summary

       ** Reminder: RXTE AO-2 Proposals Due 1st July, 1996 **
           Summary of Available Information and Software
XTENEWS#12                                           5th June 1996

   Less than a month remains before the proposal due date for the
second cycle of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Guest Observer
Program. In addition to providing a friendly reminder, we'd like to
take this opportunity to summarize the software and information
available to help you write and submit your proposals, and provide
some additional information that may be useful to you.


   EVERYBODY should note the following four important items:

** (1) The PCU gains have been changed, affecting the channel/energy
conversion. Thus, you need to obtain new versions of PIMMS, Recommd
and the response matrices and redo your simulations when choosing
configurations and writing your feasibility sections for AO-2, even if
you are 'only' resubmitting all or part of an old AO-1 proposal. (For
weak sources where background is a concern, the AO-1 matrices may still 
be used for PCA simulations - see the xte/nra/responses/pca/README file.)

** (2) Justification of telemetry use. As before, requests for
telemetry beyond the nominal rates for each instrument must be
justified, however operational experience now allows us to raise the
nominal rate for the PCA 22 kbps to  ** 40 kbps ** . This supercedes 
the information in Appendix C.2.2.1 and E.4.9, and should be taken 
into account when preparing your proposals - make good use of the
available telemetry!

** (3) Unobserved TOO targets approved in AO-1 must be reproposed for
AO-2 if the PI (or others) still think they should be observed.

** (4) The minimum observation time that can be proposed has been
raised for AO-2 from 256 sec to 1 ksec.


The RXTE GOF homepage can be found at 
The anonymous FTP account is at

* NRA-2 Announcement
   The text of the NRA-2 Announcement, plus Appendices A-E, can be
found on the GOF homepage or obtained in PostScript format from the
anonFTP account in the /xte/nra/announcement directory.  Hardcopies of
the Appendices may be also requested by sending Email to

* Response Matrices
   New response matrices for RXTE AO-2 can be found on legacy in
/xte/nra/responses, in the pca and hexte subdirectories. Directions
are provided in each subdirectory explaining what files are available
and how they should be used.

* Proposal Preparation Software
   The new versions of recommd and HEXTEmporize can be found on legacy
in /xte/nra/software. PIMMS and VIEWING have been moved to a
mission-independent location within the HEASARC anonFTP structure, at
/software/tools. README files explaining important changes to the
latter two tools for RXTE AO-2 are contained in the /xte/nra/software

   Note also the new tool, HEXTErock, provided by the UCSD team to
enable users to calculate the offset positions of the HEXTE clusters
on the sky. This can be downloaded from /xte/nra/software, or you may
use the handy online version available at UCSD (reachable via the GOF

* Proposal Submission Software - RPS
   As usual, the use of RPS to submit proposals electronically is
mandatory, even though NASA also requires the 20 hardcopies (see
below). Using RPS greatly reduces the human resources required to
process and check proposals, and speeds up the review process
considerably. For further information see the link on the GOF
homepage. Electronic submission MUST BE COMPLETED by July 1st 1996.

* Technical Appendices
   The AO-1 version of the XTE Technical Appendix F is available from
the legacy:/xte/nra/appendix_f directory. This will not be updated
for AO-2. New versions of the HEXTE chapters will, however, be available
by the end of this week - monitor the GOF homepage for further details.

* Argus
   To browse the accepted AO-1 observing program and abstracts (as
well as the short term timelines and observation status, please use
the Argus tool, also available from the GOF homepage.


   Send 20 hardcopies of each proposal, to arrive by 

			** JULY 1st 1996 **
                Dr. Alan P. Smale
		RXTE Guest Observer Facility
		Code 660.2
		NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
		Greenbelt, MD 20771

   Remember: PIs are not required to submit cost proposals (budgets)
until the second stage, which takes place after the scientific and
technical merits of the proposals have been assessed in the Stage 1
Peer Review. It is therefore not necessary for Stage 1 proposals to
include budget information, and NASA HQ does not require an
institutional signature on the General Form.

   Any questions about the RXTE proposal process or software should be
directed to 

		** xtehelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov **.

   Thanks for reading this far!

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