(1) If my group’s proposal involves an instrument and we need a partner to build it, do you want us to solicit the partner and involve them in our proposal, or would NOAO rather broker the construction contract for the work, given that you’ve already worked successfully with several schools (Cornell, UVa, OSU) on earlier ReSTAR efforts?
A: The requirements for your proposal are minimal; we will accept and review proposals regardless of whether they include a complete implementation plan or not. However, having a plan for construction of an instrument (in this case, an identified partner) will undoubtedly make your proposal stronger. Note that in the first phase of ReSTAR, we preselected partners for rapid deployment. In this phase, we are hoping that our open process will identify those partners.
(2) The Call for Proposals is framed in terms of trading telescope time to the open-access community for funds to construct or improve equipment. Would it be possible to offer a data product and/or open source software instead of the telescope time?
A: Yes. As is the case with TSIP, the “access” can be structured as participation in a survey or access to a desirable data product as an alternative to traditional telescope time. We also acknowledge that the delivery of open source software may be of value as a means to improve capabilities within the System.
(3) The ReSTAR solicitation calls for a funding period of 2012-2014. Any new telescope capabilities proposed would probably take a year or two to develop. Therefore the community does not have access to these new capabilities until probably 2014. Is it reasonable to propose a 5-year (or longer?) program in order to extend the time the community has access to the new capabilities?
A: Yes – that would be fine. Also, keep in mind that we are not precluded from entering into a longer term agreement, even though the funding from NSF would only come over three years. We can carry it over and spend it at whatever rate is best.