Call for Proposals: UC time on the Keck telescopes

To: Observers on the Keck telescopes
From: Claire Max, UCO Director
Date: August 29, 2017

First Semester 2018A
(February 1, 2018 through July 31, 2018)

Deadline: Proposals are due on Friday, September 22, 2017 by 5:00 pm PDT

1.0 General Considerations
1.1 Due Date and Proposal Process
Proposals for UC observing time on the Keck Telescopes for Semester 2018A are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, September 22nd, 2017. This is later than usual because of the Keck Science Meeting the previous week.

The principal consideration in evaluating proposals will be the scientific merit of the proposed project. Projects that take maximum advantage of the unique capabilities of the Keck Telescopes will be given high weight. A brief description should be given of backup programs that will be carried out if conditions are not suitable for the primary program. Please see: for the UC online proposal submission process.

For Semester 2018A we expect a total of about 62 UC nights on Keck I and about 57 UC nights on Keck II. Keck is continuing the login-password system to allow you to retrieve and modify your coversheets. Returning observers should use the same account information as last semester. New observers may request an account from the login page:

The coversheet form is available through the login page link above. Once you have created a coversheet and you are logged in, please go to the instructions for submitting Keck proposals at:
to create the rest of your proposal as a PDF file to upload to the UC proposal server. Note that the coversheet has been modified again this semester, so please pay close attention when filling it out.

Time Domain Astronomy: Observers will continue to have the ability to propose both cadence and ToO programs using the cover sheet. Policies related to Target of Opportunity (ToO) or Time Domain Astronomy proposals can be found at Too Policies and Cadence Policies. For Semester 2018A, four Keck partners (UC, Caltech, UH, and NASA) have agreed that TAC-approved ToO (TDA) projects will be able to interrupt observers at any of the four institutions, to increase the utility of the ToO process. These are called Partnership TDA proposals. For Semester 2018A, proposals for ToO time and Cadence time will be handled separately. There is not a limit to the number of ToO interrupts of fellow UC observers, but there is a limit of Partnership ToO (4) and Cadence (4) allocations for 2018A.

Please be sure to read the new policies before submitting a ToO or Cadence proposal: and

If your project involves both Classical and TDA observing, you MUST put in two separate cover sheets so that the Keck TDA software can clearly distinguish between the two. Instead of submitting the same text twice, please submit the actual proposal text under the Classical cover sheet; the text submitted under the TDA (ToO or Cadence) cover sheet should merely include the proposal title, PI, and proposal number, together with a sentence stating that the main text can be found under the proposal number of the Classical cover sheet. The Cover Sheet form will not let you submit one proposal requesting both Classical and TDA observing time.

1.2 Changes to the Technical Remarks Section
Changes made to the Technical Remarks section in 2017B, will be continued in semester 2018A. These include page limits and an optional, but recommended, section describing activities in the service of UCO. These changes are described at:

Large Multi-Year Project (LMAP) programs are UC observing projects with well-defined scientific objectives that require a large number of nights to bring to completion (normally 10 or more nights per semester). The UC LMAP program allows projects extending for more than one semester to be carried out with multi-year approval from the beginning. LMAPs should generally be directed toward obtaining a high quality, coherent, homogeneous data set that will allow scientific questions of major importance to be addressed in a thorough, systematic manner. Please consult
for current policies regarding LMAPs.

2.0 Notes on Instruments and Availability
Please see the following web page for detailed notes on the availability of current instruments for 2018A:
Instrument descriptions are at:

Here is a summary of instruments that will be available:

Instruments available on Keck I for Semester 2018A are:
HIRESb (blue x-disperser), HIRESr (red x-disperser), LRIS-ADC (red and blue, with ADC), LRISp-ADC (polarimeter, with ADC), MOSFIRE, OSIRIS-NGS, OSIRIS-LGS

Instruments available on Keck II for Semester 2018A are:
DEIMOS, ESI, ESIi (ESI with the Integral Field Unit), KCWI, NIRSPEC (without AO), NIRSPAO-NGS (NIRSPEC with Natural Guide Star AO, see restrictions below), NIRSPAO-LGS (NIRSPEC with Laser Guide Star AO; see restrictions below), NIRC2-NGS, NIRC2-LGS (note NIRC2-NGS/LGS is available with use of the vector vortex coronagraph), NIRES -- shared risk starting in February.

Subaru and Keck will continue their exchange of nights as in past semesters, with the number of exchange nights being determined by the demand of both institutions. You will find further details below.

3.0 Notes on specific instruments
Visitor Instruments: WMKO will not support any visitor instruments during semester 2018A.

NIRES will be available for shared risk science beginning in February. Please see:
for information on planning your run.

Time exchange with Subaru:
FOCAS, HDS, MOIRCS, IRCS (with NGS/LGSAO with 188 elements), COMICS, SCExAO, CHARIS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam will be available. Please check the Subaru web site
for detailed descriptions of these instruments, and the web site
for instrument restrictions, particularly for PI instruments SCExAO and CHARIS. The SUBARU-KECK exchange will continue to have flexibility with regard to the number of nights available for exchange. The number will be determined based on the demand from each community. Neither Keck nor Subaru will support Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations during the exchanged nights. All observations will be executed in "classical" observing mode.

Keck LGS-AO: A detailed set of guidelines for LGS-AO nights and information on the capabilities of the systems may be found on the LGS-AO web page:
Backup programs for LGS proposals are essential. Backup programs for LGS may be either NGS programs or non-AO (seeing limited) NIRSPEC observations on Keck II or either NGS-AO OSIRIS programs or HIRES on Keck I.NIRSPAO will be scheduled in campaign mode given limited demand for this configuration. If there are insufficient requests for its use, NIRSPAO may not be scheduled in a given semester.KOA (Keck Observatory Archive): Data from all instruments will be archived in the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). The default proprietary period for all data is 18 months. If observers desire a different proprietary period they may request this through the Keck coversheet. Please see the KOA homepage:
for information on the archive, as well as
for information on the KOA proprietary period policy.

Sincerely yours,

Claire Max, UCO Director
UC Observatories
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064