NOAO Guidelines for Requesting Observing Time at Las Cumbres Observatory
All requests for community access to the automated telescopes of Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) should be submitted to the NOAO TAC via the NOAO Observing Proposal Form. The NOAO Form is a general and multi-purpose document which is also used for several telescopes at other observatories. Many of the fields that relate to classically scheduled "observing runs" at other observatories do not apply to LCO and can be ignored.
Please consider these suggestions and guidelines when preparing your proposal:
- Total time should be specified in hours -- For example, if you are asking for 30 seperate one-hour observations on different nights, do not put "30" in the "requested nights" field. Use "30 hrs" (preferred), "30x0.1", or simply "3" in this case. Including the total number of hours with an "hrs" label is usually best. If you wish to make this request in units of "nights", assume an average of 10 hrs/night regardless of what time of year your targets are observable.
- Overheads must be included -- The total time requested should include both exposure time and overheads for target acquisition and detector readout. Please see the "Observation overheads" section of the LCO proposal instructions.
- Target tables are optional -- You do not need to list all targets in the phase I proposal. Summarizing your sample and possibly including a few example targets will usually be sufficient. Do include enough information about desired signal-to-noise, the total number of targets, their distribution on the sky, and their magnitude ranges so that the total amount of time you are requesting can be understood.
- "Rapid Response" is for interrupts within 15 minutes of activation -- Choose "Rapid Response" mode for targets that require immediate observation, potentially interrupting an already running exposure. Other types of "Targets of Opportunity" (ToO), that have unknown coordinates at the time of proposal submission, but that need observations within a time-scale of hours to days of activation do not need any special designation on the proposal, even if they would be considered "ToO" at other observatories.
- The LCO proprietary period is 12 months for all programs -- This field on the NOAO web form will be ignored.