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[XTEnews]: RXTE Cycle 15 Dear Colleague Letter

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

July 16, 2010

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). In consultation with the RXTE User's Group, we are
issuing the present call ("Cycle 15") for observing proposals in the
eventuality that NASA HQ can extend the mission past its nominal end
currently set for February 28, 2011.  Cycle 15 will be implemented in
the same manner as Cycle 14.

Public Data

For Cycle 15 the data from all new observations will be immediately
public, and two categories of observing programs, the "Core" and
"Open-Time" programs have been defined. Only Open-Time programs will
require proposal submission. The Open-Time program solicits proposals
for the time frame from January 1 through September 2011. We emphasize
that no funding to support guest investigations is available for Cycle

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 can be found here,


Please note that all of the data from the Core Program will be 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


Proposers may submit requests for the observing period covering
January 1 through September 30, 2011. While continued RXTE operations
through September 30, 2011 have been proposed, at present there
remains a possibility that the mission would end prior to this, so
there is no guarantee that proposed observations will be completed.
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 
* 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,
September 16, 2010 (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

Evaluation Criteria

Cycle 15 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; and 
    * The relevance to NASA's scientific objectives

Here, relevance to NASA's objectives includes the consideration of the
potential contribution to NASA's mission as expressed in its most
recent strategy documents and to the objectives and goals of the RXTE

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 Scientist, RXTE