Building foundations laid by the TIO and GMTO Detailed Science Cases (see above), the U.S. ELT Program is working with the U.S. community-at-large to develop concepts for Key Science Programs (KSPs). KSP development will be orchestrated by NOIRLab with advice from the U.S. ELT Program Advisory Committee.
KSPs are envisioned to be open collaborations that gather observers, theorists, and data scientists together to exploit significant investments of TMT and GMT observing time, from tens to hundreds of nights. Some of these collaborations are expected to be international in nature. If well-justified by KSP plans, we envisage that at least 25% of the observing time at each international observatory will be available for the U.S. community.
Developed specifically for presentation to the Decadal Survey and the NSF, the KSP concepts now under development may or may not be the actual KSPs executed in the future. Astronomy and astrophysics will continue to evolve rapidly during construction of GMT and TMT, thanks to previous investments in ground– and space-based observatories, such as the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the NASA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). The actual KSPs to be executed will be selected by peer-review at various times (to be determined) before and during GMT and TMT science operations.
Updated: 4 June 2020