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Proceedings Paper

Spitzer Space Telescope proposal process
Author(s): S. Laine; N. A. Silbermann; L. M. Rebull; L. J. Storrie-Lombardi
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Paper Abstract

This paper discusses the Spitzer Space Telescope General Observer proposal process. Proposals, consisting of the scientific justification, basic contact information for the observer, and observation requests, are submitted electronically using a client-server Java package called Spot. The Spitzer Science Center (SSC) uses a one-phase proposal submission process, meaning that fully-planned observations are submitted for most proposals at the time of submission, not months after acceptance. Ample documentation and tools are available to the observers on SSC web pages to support the preparation of proposals, including an email-based Helpdesk. Upon submission proposals are immediately ingested into a database which can be queried at the SSC for program information, statistics, etc. at any time. Large proposals are checked for technical feasibility and all proposals are checked against duplicates of already approved observations. Output from these tasks is made available to the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) members. At the review meeting, web-based software is used to record reviewer comments and keep track of the voted scores. After the meeting, another Java-based web tool, Griffin, is used to track the approved programs as they go through technical reviews, duplication checks and minor modifications before the observations are released for scheduling. In addition to detailing the proposal process, lessons learned from the first two General Observer proposal calls are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 627029 (30 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669087
Show Author Affiliations
S. Laine, California Institute of Technology (United States)
N. A. Silbermann, California Institute of Technology (United States)
L. M. Rebull, California Institute of Technology (United States)
L. J. Storrie-Lombardi, California Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6270:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems
David R. Silva; Rodger E. Doxsey, Editor(s)

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