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Proposals & Updates for Time on Optical/IR Telescopes


Time on all Optical/IR UAO telescopes is allocated in two semesters: February-July (A) and August-January (B). Proposal deadlines are now October 1 and April 1, or a nearby date  (Apr 5, 2021 for 2021B) if the time falls on a weekend: See the call for proposals email.  Late proposals will not be considered.


All proposers (general and GTO partners) should submit electronically the completed latex form and the processed pdf version either at (general observers, by noon on Apr 5, 2021) or at (GTO observers, by Apr 26). Passwords have been provided in the respective Call for Proposals from the TAC Chair. Unless you receive special permission from the TAC Chair, the proposals must be submitted by the deadline.

Make sure to download the current proposal template file  soprop.tex and class file soprop.cls, which are required to produce the pdf file that is uploaded by the electronic submission form. Your proposal will not be processed by the automated account if you use an outdated version of the template files.


LBTProposers need to also submit Phase I Tool (PIT) form by noon on Apr 5 as well. The PIT form is available at Dr. Eiichi Egami is the main Steward contact.

MMTCam: MMTCam should only be used for ToO imaging projects, and projects that require shallow u band imaging. Note that there is no guiding with MMTCam. Non-ToO imaging projects, particularly those needing deep exposures, should use Binospec, where guiding is possible and the noise is much lower. ToO projects can of course use Binospec, and indeed current ToO projects have time assigned on both instruments.

MMT Red Channel: We suggest that observers compare the throughputs of Red Channel and Binospec and make their decisions.

MagAO :  MagAO will NOT be available in 2021B. Contact Laird Close ( for information. 

MagAO-X:  May be offered in late 2021B depending on the pandemic status.   For science nights, contact Jared Males for information ( 

MAESTRO: The MMT Advanced Echelle Spectrograph will not be supported this semester. 

MMT AO/ARIES "MAPS": The adaptive optics system (f/15 secondary) on the MMT is under significant renovation. Improvements to the system include an updated ASM, new pyramid WFSs, and upgrades to the ARIES and MMT-POL instruments (PIs: Drs. Katie Morzinski (AO/MAPS), Don McCarthy and Craig Kulesa (ARIES), Terry Jones (MMT-POL)). Commissioning of MAPS is expected later 2021; there is no call for MAPS proposals at this time.
MAGELLAN/M2FS: proposals for M2FS require agreement from PI (Dr. Mario Mateo, UMichigan) and require adhering to specific guidelines. Proposers should contact him well in advance of our deadline. Observers with ongoing M2FS projects should (a) remind Mario that  this project has been approved by M2FS team in the past, (b) ask if it's still approved, and (c) provide an estimate for number of nights. The Steward contact is Dr. Edward Olszewski. M2FS is a pair of fiber-fed spectrographs (on Clay)  that can operate at high resolution (echelle), medium resolution (echellette), or low resolution (regular grating) in many possible configurations (for instance, echelle in one spectrograph and low-res grating in the other). New configurations are possible with the purchase of relatively-inexpensive order-blocking filters.
WIFIS (Wide Integral-Field Infrared Spectrograph): Is available on the 2.3m Bok telescope. There are two ways to propose. First (and recommended) are joint proposals with the WIFIS team (Dae-Sik Moon and Suresh Sivanandam). Second, the team has agreed to support a limited number of independent programs (proposers should consult with them on technical details) as long as enough nights of joint programs are scheduled (5 nights). Information about the WIFIS instrument is available in this published paper: Contact Dr. Suresh Sivanandam for details.
SPOL: Through Steward Observatory's partnership with KASI, a new lens that has very good transmission of light down to the near-UV atmospheric cutoff at about 3200 Angstroms is now available for use in SPOL.  Previously, polarimetry at wavelengths to the blue of about 4000 Angstroms had been impossible.  Science programs not needing measurements of polarization at wavelengths <4500 Angstroms should still utilize the old "red" lens because of its superior throughput in the red and the fact that it is able to  reach an acceptable focus over a broader wavelength range than the new "blue" lens.  In addition, a new, larger aperture for imaging polarimetry has been installed in SPOL.  The new aperture measures 100" x 60" at the 90" and 61" telescopes and  37" x 22" at the MMT.
Arizona Robotic Telescope Network (ARTN):
Remote observations with the 61" Kuiper telescope and Mont4k CCD imager are now past the initial engineering phase, and are ready to enable new opportunities in both traditional and time domain observations.  A “shared-risk” opportunity is available for science programs using the Mont4k CCD imager in queue mode.  Interested parties should contact Dr. David Sand.  Please be prepared to discuss the types of observations you may want in terms of cadence, exposure time, observational strategy and total time request.  For the next semester, the ARTN team will provide observers at the telescope to oversee the operations of the queue (and ensure the telescope closes for weather & safety issues) while the science team can remotely work from home. 
Proposals for Time on ARO Telescopes

The Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO) at regular intervals solicits proposals for the 10-meter Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) located on Mount Graham, Arizona, and the new ALMA Prototype 12-meter Telescope (12m) located on Kitt Peak, Arizona. Deadlines are announced in the Call for Proposals.

Prospective observers should consult the 'Observing with ARO' tab on the ARO website for technical specifications and to download the ARO Proposal Cover sheet. Proposers are required to list on the cover sheet their requested observing blocks (LST ranges), dates on which they are not available to observe, and dates in which sources in those observing blocks are within the Sun-avoidance zone (44 degrees at the SMT). In addition to proposers are also required to submit scientific and technical justifications. Completed proposals should be submitted by email as specified in the Call for Proposals as a single pdf consisting of the cover sheet and justifications.

Proposals will be reviewed by the ARO TAC. Scheduling of successful proposals will be done according to availability of the receivers requested. 

The telescopes are expected to be available to the general astronomical community for a minimum of 10 percent of the scheduled time. Graduate student participation is especially encouraged regardless of institutional affiliation. Institutions (or individuals) that wish to acquire longer commitments of time should contact the Steward Director.


(March 3, 2021)

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