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Suzaku News #078: Suzaku AO-8 & XIS Calibration Update



[1] Suzaku AO-8 Proposals Due on November 16
[2] Request for volunteers for US peer review
[3] Updated calibration of XIS contaminant build-up


[1] Suzaku AO-8 Proposals Due on November 16

Solicitation of proposals for Suzaku observations during the period
April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014 is now open. The deadline is
November 16, 2012.

Currently, Suzaku continues to obtain scientific data using 3 units of
XIS as well as the HXD.  However, the in-orbit degradation of the power
generation capability of the satellite has forced the team to switch off
all non-essential hardware, and we have restricted observations to targets
within the Sun angle range of 70 to 110 degrees.  It is likely that
observations can continue without further changes through early 2014,
at which point other measures (such as partial shut-down of scientific
instruments) may become necessary.

Give this, we do not solicit new Key Project proposals in this cycle.
The completion of already accepted Key Projects, however, is a high
priority for the mission.  Also, proposers should not assume that
Suzaku will continue to be available beyond the end of the AO-8 period.

An updated version of the Suzaku Technical Description document for AO-8
proposers is now available in .html, .pdf and .ps.gz formats.  Similarly,
we have updated the proposal preparation tools, including files necessary
for performing simulations.

Further details can be found at:

        (for scientists in the US)
        (for scientists in ESA member countries)
        (for scientists in all other countries, not the least in Japan)


[2] Request for volunteers for US peer review

We plan to hold the US peer review of Suzaku Cycle 8 proposals in Greenbelt,
MD on January 22 & 23, 2013 (with set-up and reviewer arrival on January 21).
If you are US-based scientist and would like to serve as a reviewer, please
contact Koji.Mukai@nasa.gov.  We may or may not be able to use every
volunteer, as we need to avoid conflicts of interest while ensuring that
the reviewers collectively will have the right expertise to match the
subjects of the submitted proposals.

Please note that we cannot use scientists yet without a PhD, in our review.


[3] Updated calibration of XIS contaminant build-up

The XIS team has released an updated calibration of the contaminant
build-up, based partly on additional calibration observations, featuring
a revised time-dependence of contaminant composition, and a new,
time-dependent parametrization of the spatial dependence of the
contaminant thickness.  This new calibration can be applied by
accessing the latest version of the Suzaku CALDB, and re-generating            
the ARF files, using the current or recent version of Suzaku FTOOLS
(version 18 or higher).  With this release, the low energy calibration
of XIS data is significantly improved.