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[XTEnews]: RXTE Cycle 14 Information for Proposers

Dr. Ilana Harrus
Program Executive and Program Scientist for RXTE
Astrophysics Division, NASA HQ
202.358.1250 (voice)

June 18, 2009

Dear Colleague,

This letter is to call your attention to the opportunity to propose
investigations requesting observing time on NASA's Rossi X-ray
Timing Explorer (RXTE). NASA headquarters has approved continued
operations of RXTE through September 2010, and we need to produce
an observing plan covering this period. In light of the reduced
funding for RXTE during Fiscal Year 2010, and in consultation with
the RXTE Users' Group, we are issuing the present call ("Cycle 14")
for observing proposals. Cycle 14 will be implemented in the same
manner as Cycle 13.

Public Data

For Cycle 14 the data from all new observations will be immediately
public, and the two categories of observing programs defined for
Cycle 13, the "Core" and "Open-Time" programs have been kept. Only
Open-Time programs will require proposal submission. The Open-Time
program solicits proposals for the time frame from January 1 through
September 2010. We emphasize that no funding to support guest
investigations is available for Cycle 14.

Core Program

The Core Program was first proposed to the 2008 Senior Review, and
became part of the observing plan for Cycle 13. It comprises
observations uniquely suited to RXTE and in which RXTE has taken a
lead role in the past. In general, observations of the type included
within the Core Program are widely recognized to be of the highest
priority for the mission, having passed a peer review in many
successive observing cycles. A description and list of Core Program
observations planned to be carried out during Cycle 14 can be found


Please note that all of the data from the Core Program is made
public immediately upon processing. Proposal submission is not
required for observations in this category.

Open-Time Program

The purpose of the Open-Time Program is to make RXTE observing time
available to the international science community for science
investigations not included in the Core Program. To request such
observations, investigators must submit a short proposal and
associated target forms as described below.

In order to maintain an innovative science program, this announcement
solicits observing proposals for new science investigations or
extensions of existing programs not covered by the Core Program.
Such proposals may also involve coordinated RXTE observations of
targets with other space-based and/or ground-based facilities. We
emphasize that Open-Time proposals should not duplicate observations
in the Core Program.


Proposers may submit requests for the observing period covering January 1 through September 30, 2010. Proposals for Open-Time observations must be submitted via HEASARC's Remote Proposal System (ARK/RPS):


The proposal must consist of the following:

    * Cover Page - containing basic information about the proposal
    * General Page - containing co-investigator information
    * Target Forms - containing target request information and instrument configurations
    * Scientific Justification and Feasibility

Proposals should establish the science case briefly, and describe
how RXTE's unique capabilities will be exploited.

Proposals must be submitted electronically using ARK/RPS and received
by Thursday, August 13, 2009 (17:00 EDT).

The scientific justification and feasibility are limited to one
page, to be uploaded as a pdf file. Proposals must use a 10pt font
or larger.

Evaluation Criteria

Cycle 14 proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

    * The suitability of using the RXTE observatory and data products 
	for the proposed investigation
    * The degree to which the investigation uses RXTE's unique capabilities
    * The feasibility of accomplishing the objectives of the investigation 
	within the time, telemetry, and scheduling constraints
    * The feasibility of the proposed analysis techniques

This program is relevant to the astrophysics strategic goals and
subgoals in NASA's Strategic Plan. Proposals that are relevant to
this program are, by definition, relevant to NASA.

Review and Selection

A peer review committee will be convened to evaluate proposals for
Open-Time investigations, including recommendations concerning the
approved observing targets and times.

Prospective proposers can get more information from the RXTE Guest
Observer Facility's Web page:


Any additional questions should be addressed to the XTE Help Desk
via their feedback form:


Ilana Harrus
Program Executive and Program Scientist for RXTE