Partnership Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations on Keck

July 1, 2016: approved by SSC

Target of Opportunity (ToO) proposals are directed at objects with unpredictable appearance dates for which a short, timely observation (up to one hour) may be of great value. This Partnership ToO program is not intended for observations that can be anticipated in advance (e.g. Cadence observations).

We anticipate a 2­ year trial period for this Partnership ToO policy, with a review after the first year. Updates may be needed when the Keck I deployable tertiary becomes available.

1. Caltech, NASA, UC or UH researchers can propose to their respective TACs for cross­institutional ToO (“Partnership ToO”) observations on Keck I and/or Keck II. TACs should award Partnership ToOs only for highly ranked programs.

2. Each TAC will judge their respective community’s proposals. Each TAC can allocate up to a combined total of six Partnership ToO + Partnership Snapshot observations per semester. Each TAC will submit a list of approved Partnership ToOs to WMKO as part of the routine reporting of successful proposals.

3. WMKO will develop a web interface for managing ToO implementation, including listing approved programs, accounting for time used and remaining, reporting ToO­exempted nights, etc. This will be the primary conduit for ToO PIs to initiate Partnership ToOs.

4. The ToO PI is responsible for contacting the classically scheduled PI (“Observing PI”) as soon as possible. For a given night's observing, the first ToO PI to trigger an interrupt is the one that gets to observe (a.k.a. first come, first served). The WMKO web interface will be the sole source for managing the triggers.

5. Any ToO program that requires LGSAO must be invoked and the target coordinates submitted prior to 3:00 pm HST on the day of the observing run.

6. For each ToO interrupt, the maximum duration is 1­ hour of elapsed time (i.e. wall clock). No instrument changes. This includes calibration and restoring the instrument mode to its state prior to the ToO interrupt or to another state as mutually agreed with the Observing PI.

7. The Observing PI will make best efforts to promptly turn over the telescope to the ToO PI. The observer may briefly delay handover of the telescope in order to complete their current exposure or essential observing sequence (e.g. one A­B nod pair). After that, it is expected the Observing PI will yield the telescope to the ToO PI, unless the latter agrees to wait longer. The PIs should inform the WMKO Observing Assistant when a Partnership ToO is invoked.

8. It is the responsibility of the ToO team to carry out the observations. The ToO team may carry out the observations themselves. If remote observing, the team is responsible for making appropriate arrangements with the Remote Observing Room, including reservations and testing in advance. Alternatively, the ToO team may ask the Observing PI to carry out the observations, which will include an offer of co­authorship; the Observing PI is not obligated to do the observing.

9. Upon completion of the ToO, the ToO PI is encouraged to use the Keck web system to submit a brief summary of the execution of the ToO.

10. No more than one ToO interrupt per night per telescope. Also, the following are exempt from ToO interrupts: (1) observing programs with allocations that are a half­night or smaller, (2) nights that already have 3 programs scheduled, and (3) nights with a Snapshot already scheduled (see accompanying Cadence policy).

11. Individual TACs may designate a few nights (partial or whole) as exempt from ToO interrupts. This designation must be scientifically motivated, namely that such interruptions would seriously compromise the scientific return of the entire observing time. Proposers should make any such requests to their individual TACs as part of their observing proposal. Use of these exemptions is expected to be rare occurrences. Nights designated as “uninterruptible” should be clearly identified as such, e.g., via the aforementioned web interface.

12. At the conclusion of each semester, WMKO will report to each partner the time used, the associated ToO programs, and the interrupted Observing PIs.

13. Time imbalances between partners arising from Partnership ToOs will be corrected through each partner’s semesterly time allocations and/or WMKO’s give­back science time. Since ToOs are only executed in suitably good weather, their time usage will be charged at a rate of 2x larger than normal observing time. (Any compensation to individual PIs interrupted by ToOs will be left to the discretion of the individual institutions.)

Updated August 11, 2016 by UCO Director Claire Max.

Policy for UC Keck Time for Cadence Observing:

UC, NASA, IfA, and possibly Caltech have discussed plans to attempt a partnership “cadence” program for 2016B. The goal is to be able to schedule brief (e.g. one hour or less) observing sessions at times that are known far in advance, and to be able to interleave these into the regular observing schedule without the types of scheduling stress that have prevailed in the past. Details of how this will take place have not yet been fully worked out.

For UC proposals in Semester 2016B: If you believe your proposal fits into the "Cadence Observing" category please explain your needs in some detail in your proposal. Scheduling half-nights is considerably more straightforward than scheduling one-hour or quarter-night observing sessions. So if you have meaningful science that can supplement your brief cadence observing during the same half-night, please indicate this as an alternative to cadence scheduling, in case the latter cannot be arranged soon enough for Semester 2016B.

Updated February 21, 2016 by UCO Director Claire Max.

Policy for UC Keck Time for Targets of Opportunity

Currently Approved UC ToO Projects at Keck, updated September 11, 2017.

Semester 2017B:

U041 de Pater (NIRC2-NGS)
U160 Valenti (LRIS-ADC, DEIMOS)

Semester 2017A:

U045 de Pater (NIRC2-NGS)

Semester 2016B:

U150 Filippenko (DEIMOS, HIRES, LRIS, NIRC2-LGS)
U041 de Pater (NIRC2)
U054 de Pater (NIRC2)
U134 Max (NIRC2-LGS)

Semester 2016A:

U038Hr Filippenko HIRESr Keck I
U038N2L Filippenko NIRC2-LGS Keck II
U018N2 de Pater NIRC2-NGS Keck II

Semester 2015A:

Keck I U064Hr Filippenko
Keck II U064N2L Filippenko
Keck II U015N2 De Pater
Keck II U035N2L Max

Semester 2015B:

Keck I U048Hr Filippenko
Keck I U028OL Max
Keck II U048N2L Filippenko