Before an XMM-Newton observation can be released for scheduling,
several checks must be completed to ensure that the proposed
instrument configuration is safe and is suitable for the proposal
This process is called "Proposal Enhancement". Only after the
enhancement process is successfully completed can the XMM-Newton
proposals be released for scheduling.
The Principal Investigator (PI) is contacted by the XMM-Newton Science
Operation Centre (SOC) shortly after Phase II submission in order to
start the enhancement process.
Listed below are the most important features of this process:
- All approved proposals are enhanced, regardless of their priority.
- Proposals are enhanced as a whole. Enhancement of a single
observation, without simultaneous enhancement of all the other
observations contained in the same proposal, is not possible.
- Triggered and OTAC-approved ToO proposals are also enhanced. The
instrumental setup should be defined as much in detail as possible
at this stage to minimise delays in the scheduling once the proposal
- Each proposal is evaluated by the XMM-Newton SOC with respect to
instrument safety, scientific optimisation and target visibility
- The outcome of this analysis is communicated to the proposal PI
by the SOC. In case any problem is found, for each identified
problem, the SOC provides the PI with suggestions for a possible
- Further iterations may be needed, until an agreement between the
SOC and the PI is reached. As a rule, no XMM-Newton observation can
be released for scheduling without agreement from the PI.
- In the absence of user-defined constraints, the planning of an
XMM-Newton observation is ultimately determined by the optimisation
of the observing efficiency and potential scientific return.
- PIs will be immediately informed when their observation has
actually been scheduled, typically three to four weeks before the
- PIs are encouraged to check the scheduling details, but they
should be aware that at this stage changes with respect to what was
agreed during the enhancement are only accepted under exceptional
- Potential conflicts arising during the enhancement and/or
scheduling processes will be addressed according to the guidelines
given in the
XMM-Newton Policies and Procedures Document in force for the
current Announcement of Opportunity, that has priority over any
In order to minimise the risk of information losses or errors the
following rules must be followed:
- All correspondence concerning the enhancement or scheduling
process must be sent to the following e-mail address
- Any other communications concerning a proposal (coordinates
change requests, coordination of observations, substitute PI
nomination, scheduling questions) must also be sent to
- Each e-mail sent to this account must contain the proposal number
in the Subject line.
- Each e-mail must refer to one and only one, proposal, i.e., PIs
requesting a change concerning several of their proposals must
submit separate e-mails, one for each proposal.
We appreciate your cooperation, and wish you exciting science with your
XMM-Newton User Support Group