NSF's NOIRLab Call for Standard Proposals: Semester 2022B
This Call for Proposals 2022B (CfP22B) covers the observing time period from 1 August 2022 – 31 January 2023.
Proposal Deadline: 31 March 2022 at 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time (MST).
1. General Information on NSF's NOIRLab Observing Proposals
Proposals for standard observing programs at all ground-based facilities coordinated by the NSF's NOIRLab, which include US time on the telescopes of Gemini, CTIO (including SMARTS and SOAR), and KPNO (WIYN), as well as community-access time with other observatories (which for 2022B include CHARA, Keck, Las Cumbras Observatory (LCO), and MINERA-Australis), can be submitted twice per year. For the 2022B semester, the deadline is:
- Update: Dual Anonymous 2-stage Review
Semester 2022B marks the beginning of the Dual Anonymous Review Process (DARP) for all observing proposals submitted to NOIRLab (including proposals submitted for time on the Gemini telescopes). This process requires that certain text sections of observing proposals must be anonymous, with these anonymous sections being:
1. Do not claim ownership of past work, e.g., "my previously funded work..." or "Our prior analysis demonstrates that…”
2. Do not include the names of the personnel associated with the proposal or their organizational affiliations. This includes but is not limited to, page headers, footers, diagrams, figures, or watermarks. This does not include references to past work, which should be included whenever relevant (see below).
3. Referencing is an essential part of demonstrating knowledge of the field and progress. When citing references within the proposal, use third person neutral wording. Do not refer to previous observing campaigns or other observatories in an identifying fashion.
4. If it is important to cite exclusive access datasets, non-public software, unpublished data, or findings that have been presented in public before but are not cite-able, proposers must use language such as "obtained in private communication" or "from private consultation" when referring to such potentially identifying work.
5. Do not include any acknowledgments, or the source of any grant funding.
- Update: COVID-19
- Verne V. Smith, NSF's NOIRLab CSDC/TAC Program Head (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Instructions for Submitting Semester 2022B Proposals
3. News and Updates for Semester 2022B
3.1 New Proposal Review Implemented 2022B: Dual Anonymous Review Process (DARP)
As noted in Section 1 above, Semester 2022B marks the beginning of the Dual Anonymous Review Process (DARP) for all observing proposals submitted to NOIRLab (including proposals submitted for time on the Gemini telescopes). This process requires that the abstract, science justification, and experimental and technical design sections in all observing proposals must be anonymized. In the second stage of the process, additional non-anonymized information relevant to the proposal will be revealed to the review panel in order to obtain a final ranking
3.2 Keck I and Keck II Observing Time in 2022B
Special Notes and Consideration for 2022B:
Keck I Telescope: There will be a 12 night period of shutdown and engineering occurring in either September or October bright time in order to conduct repair work on the Keck I telescope pier.
KCWI: KCWI will be unavailable during the 22B semester for the installation and commissioning of the red channel, KCRM.
NIRSPAO/NIRSPEC: Nirspec and Nirspao nights may be scheduled in campaign mode to limit the number of reconfigs into AO during the semester.
KPIC: KPIC is being upgraded in both 22A and 22B. KPIC will be available for shared-risk science in the October to January portion of 22B in collaboration with and supported by the KPIC team. KPIC is expected to become available as a facility capability in 23A.
- The vortex coronagraph in LGS mode is not available.
- The vortex coronagraph with the PyWFS is only available through collaboration with the PyWFS and vortex development teams.
Please, see the NIRC2 manual (https://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/
DEIMOS: The top-left CCD on the detector mosaic is noisier than the rest of the CCDs. Please see https://www2.keck.hawaii.
At-Home (pajama mode) Observing:
- At-Home observing will continue to be available to observers
- At home observing requires the installation of software which only runs on linux and macOS operating systems.
- Observers using at home observing should plan to work with Keck staff to install and test the software several days ahead of their run to allow time for troubleshooting.
3.3 NN-EXPLORE in 2022B: Time Available on the WIYN 3.5m, the CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON, and MINERVA-Australis.
NASA has made available to the US community 300 hours on the Minerva-Australis facility for the 2022B semester. The time is intended for exoplanet research, primarily of TESS targets but other exoplanet science will be considered. Proposed observing time will be allocated in hours and must include all science and calibration observations necessary to accomplish the science. More information can be requested by contacting David Ciardi at NExScI (email@example.com) or Rob Wittenmyer at University of Southern Queensland (Rob.Wittenmyer@usq.edu.au).
As the MINERVA-Australis is a scientific consortium, there are a set of restrictions by which proposers must abide:
• The MINERVA-Australis has listed a set of “Collaboration Targets,” which are a set of targets that the collaboration is observing (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M4ee7qRmhMoldLqbngZD7qXMOQSzZvhV/view?usp=sharing__;!!PvBDto6Hs4WbVuu7!bQiLiXo3BVwkHQbR0BcXUQQTSbPCmfGjwn_M_AxEcZRASVtWNWsoGnp5bhGUX7dS24dGjMrw$ ) “Collaboration Targets” can be proposed for observation through the NASA time if the proposal principal investigator forms a collaboration with the appropriate MINERVA-Australis collaboration or the proposer and the MINERVA-Australis collaboration member come to a mutual agreement regarding the proposed observations.
• Observations will be made, on behalf of the NASA observers, in queue-mode by the MINERVA-Australis team.
• The MINERVA-Australis team will deliver the proposer’s raw data, 1D extracted spectra, and radial velocities (if desired by the proposer).
• Data obtained for US community observers will be archived at NExScI –through the ExoFOP service. Archived data will have the option to have a maximum 12 month proprietary period.
• Any publications arising from the utilization of NASA time on MINERVA-Australis are subject to the main MINERVA-Australis publication policy regarding the inclusion of the listed Architects and Builders [to be provided by the Collaboration] and must acknowledge the NN-EXPLORE Program.Note
3.4 CHARA Increases Time Available to 40 Nights in 2022B
The NOIRLab allocation of observing time on CHARA has increased to 40 nights for 2022B. The current instruments available are CLASSIC, CLIMB, PAVO, and MIRC-X/MYSTIC.
VEGA has been decommissioned and it is expected that SPICA (its replacement) will only become available, at the earliest, in 2023A.
More information on CHARA and its instruments can be found at http://www.chara.gsu.edu .
3.5 Las Cumbres Observatory
3.6 Gemini North and South
The Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT) will automatically add the time for the baseline partner calibrations to the total time requested for each target in the proposal.
3.7 Zwicky Transient Facility and ANTARES event brokering
The Mayall 4-m telescope is currently in the midst of survey observing with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). No time will be available through the NSF NOIRLab TAC.
Approximately 35 nights devoted to NN-EXPLORE programs will be available for NSF NOIRLab observing time in 2022B. More details on the NN-EXPLORE Program on WIYN can be found at: https://noirlab.edu/science/observing-noirlab/proposals/nn-explore
Information specific to proposing for time using the precision radial-velocity spectrograph NEID can be found at: https://www.wiyn.org/Instruments/wiynneid_call2022b.html
Open-access proposals, other than NNEXPLORE, can be submitted to WIYN, but these would only be scheduled if NNEXPLORE programs could not be scheduled for all of the NOIRLab WIYN time; in particular, proposals using only Hydra or ODI might have the best chance to be fit into time slots that could not fit into the NNEXPLORE schedule.
No new proposals are solicited in 2022B for the 0.9m with HDI. We are working on re-opening as soon as possible and will issue a call for proposals at that time.
Nights available in 2022B for new regular programs is approximately 80.
Instruments available: In 2022B, CTIO will be offering the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) and the Cerro Tololo Ohio State Multi-Object Spectrograph (COSMOS):
NEWFIRM: We expect to begin recommissioning the NEWFIRM wide Field IR imager on the Blanco telescope during the 2022B semester. (See articlefor further details). If all goes well we will solicit Science Verification (SV) proposals from our user community and select a few to be executed in October–December 2022. Clearly these dates depend on the performance of the instrument and could easily slip if problems need to be fixed. Updates on the NEWFIRM commissioning schedule can be found on the NEWFIRM webpage. The recommissioning and SV of NEWFIRM may affect the scheduling of proposals requesting f/8 time with COSMOS in 2022B. As a result, there may be very limited time for COSMOS observing in 2022B. Because of the anticipated high demand for NEWFIRM, we expect that COSMOS will be retired at the end of the 2023A semester.
Night time operations at the Blanco telescope resumed in October 2020, however visiting observers are not currently permitted nor are expected to be in the near future. All proposers should therefore plan to observe remotely during the whole of 2022B. See the Information on equipment and software requirements and how to carry out remote observations at Blanco at:
Note that we are waiving the requirement that all observers must have had previous observing experience at the telescope in order to carry out remote observations. However, we strongly encourage the involvement of experienced observers within your team in the planning and execution of your observations.
It is expected that approximately 49 nights of NOIRLab time will be available on SOAR for 2022B.
The SOAR website is located at:
SOAR AEON update -
For semester 2022B, we will be offering TripleSpec 4.1 in queue mode for the first time. As this will be the first semester with the instrument, we will be limiting options to the most-used observing mode, which is a basic ABBA dither pattern suitable for point sources. The observing block will also include a nearby telluric standard and an optional arc. The instrument continues to be available in classical mode for observers who require more complex observations.
We continue to offer the Goodman spectrograph with both red and blue cameras, in several spectroscopic and imaging configurations.
For details, please see:
SOAR Target of Opportunity Update -
Detection of gravitational wave events is currently expected to resume late in semester 2022B (further updates to the start date are expected in mid-March). In contrast to the policy for the O3 campaign that ended in March 2020, we will treat approved GWE follow-up programs as standard ToO programs, governed by the current policy (https://noirlab.edu/science/
As previously, if there are competing requests for follow-up of the same event on the same night, the first proposal to trigger will have priority but must promptly share the raw data with any other approved proposal team that requests it.
SMARTS (1.5m with CHIRON and 0.9m with CFCCD)
3.10 NOIRLab and NASA Space Observatories Observing Time
The NSF's NOIRLab collaborates with NASA Space Observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra, and Fermi, to provide investigators with complementary ground-based observations in support of their programs. Investigators can obtain time on facilities available through NOIRLab through successful proposals for Fermi, HST, and Chandra programs (with a total summed time limit of 5% on any given telescope for all programs in this collaboration) . This collaboration allows proposers to avoid the double jeopardy inherent in having to pass through two separate TAC processes, and provides access to facilities essential to obtaining complementary ground-based O/IR data without regard to institutional affiliation. The time awarded through this process will not be extended or augmented to account for losses due to bad weather.
Note, programs that requested observations with the Gemini telescopes, must submit a Gemini proposal, using the Gemini PIT, to NOIRLab, where the NOIRLab TAC will recommend either Band 1 or Band 2 Gemini queue time.
3.11 JWST Synergies in 2022B
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was successfully launched on 25 December 2021 and, at the time of the release of this Call, is currently in its commissioning phase at L2. JWST will offer extensive photometric and spectroscopic capabilities spanning the wavelength range 0.7 to 28 microns. Science observations are anticipated to begin in June 2022, after the completion of commissioning activities.
This section is a reminder that ground-based observations have complemented many observing programs carried out on the various space observatories, and NOIRLab encourages proposals that continue this tradition with JWST (note the "JWST Synergies" category for Gemini proposals in the Gemini 2022B Call for Proposals: https://www.gemini.edu/observing/phase-i/standard-semester-program/2022b-call-proposals ). Proposals that include either scheduled or proposed JWST observations will be assessed based on the science expectations for the full program, including both the JWST observations (whether approved for Cycle 1, or envisioned for Cycle 2 and beyond) and NOIRLab observations, as described in the Science Justification and Experimental Design sections. Completion of the Use of Other Facilities or Resources section is not required.
4. General Information about Facilities Available through NOIRLab
4.1 Facilities List
Approximate nights available for new standard 2022B programs
8m Gemini North
8m Gemini South
8m Subaru (through time exchange)
NN-EXPLORE 300 hrs + 180 hrs for regular programs
6 x 1m aperture
Global telescope network of 1m and 2m telescopes
1250 hrs (1m)
200 hrs (2m)
|MINERVA-Australis||0.7m x 5||300 hrs||https://www.usq.edu.au/hes/school-of-mathematics-physics-and-computing/mt-kent-observatory|
4.2 Telescope and Instrument Lists (with Instrument Proposal Code and Web-link)
Subaru (Gemini Exchange time)
Visiting Instruments on Subaru offered in 2022A (limited to one or two runs). Proposals to use visiting instruments must include the instrument PIs as Co-investigators.
Fast PDI : (in shared-risk mode): availability to be confirmed in April. Polarization differential imaging (PDI) with a high speed (>kHz) near-IR (950 - 1860 nm) low-noise camera (C-RED One), optimized for high contrast imaging of circumstellar disks with SCExAO+AO188.
IRD - Infrared Doppler: (in shared-risk mode): infrared high-dispersion, high resolution (up to 70,000) fiber-fed spectrometer. IRD SSP is started in 2019A – any IRD proposal must clarify how its scientific aim is different from SSP. The observing mode REACH (SCExAO+IRD), is available. One of the IRD detectors (YJ-band) has been unavailable from the beginning of January 2022. It might be still unavailable in S22B, depending on the progress of troubleshooting in Feb 2022. Please contact the IRD team for more details.
MEC (in shared-risk mode): the MKID Exoplanet Camera is a near-IR (800-1400nm) photon-counting low-resolution (R~5) integral field spectrograph optimized for high contrast imaging with SCExAO+AO188.
SWIMS: (in shared-risk mode): Simultaneous-color Wide-field Infrared Multi-object Spectrograph - an imager and multi-object spectrograph in the NIR wavelength. SWIMS-IFU may be available in S22B but is still undergoing testing. SWIMS IFU proposals can be accepted, but it is possible they will not be scheduled. http://www.ioa.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/TAO/swims/?Summary_for_Subaru_S21A_CfP
VAMPIRES : The Visible Aperture Masking Polarimetric Imager for Resolved Exoplanetary Strucutres is a visible light instrument on the SCExAO system. https://www.naoj.org/Projects/SCEXAO/scexaoWEB/030openuse.web/040vampires.web/indexm.html
NsIR Wave Plate Unit: for IRCS/SCExAO polarimetry mode.
CTIO 4m Blanco
LCO-2m Global Network
MuSCAT3: Four-channel simultaneous imager https://lco.global/observatory/instruments/muscat3/
LCO-1m Global Network
5. How to Acknowledge Use of NSF's NOIRLab Facilities
There are a variety of credit lines which are appropriate for citing the use of data from one or more of the NOIRLab facilities. Please acknowledge the proper observatories by using the appropriate credit line as described in the following link: