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XMM-Newton Eleventh Announcement of Opportunity (AO-11)

Due to a planned migration of the XMM-Newton SOC web portal, all SOC internet services (including ToO Alerts) will be unavailable Wednesday, 10 February from 10:00 to 13:00 (GMT).

Announcement of Opportunity (AO11 is now closed)

Effective 23 August 2011, XMM-Newton observing proposals were solicited in response to the Eleventh Announcement of Opportunity, AO-11.

A letter from ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, inviting you to participate in the Eleventh Call for Proposals, is available in electronic form (pdf).

The Deadline for XMM-Newton AO-11 proposal submission was Friday 7 October 2011, 12:00 UT.

Important changes for AO-11 relative to earlier Calls

Joint XMM-Newton/HST pilot programme

A joint XMM-Newton/HST pilot programme is offered in AO-11. The procedure to follow and the policies that apply are explained in section 5.2.10 of the Policies and Procedures document. This joint programme may be extended in future AOs depending on the interest within XMM-Newton and HST communities, and following reviews by both users groups on the subscription and allocation of proposals in response to the present XMM-Newton AO and to the next HST call.

Proposal Submission Documentation

The following AO-11 documentation is available:

Letter by the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration announcing AO-11 pdf
Policies and Procedures for the XMM-Newton AO-11 on-linepdf
XMM-Newton Users Handbook (UHB) on-linepdf
XMM-Newton Scientific Justification LaTeX Template
(Scientific Justification must not exceed 4 pages, 5 pages for Large and Very Large Programs)
LaTex File

The XMM-Newton SOC highly recommends the use of:
  • the on-line documentation because it contains updated links to references in the text
  • the Scientific Justification LaTeX Template

AO-11 Timetable

Key milestones for AO-11 are:
Announcement of Opportunity 23 August 2011
Due date for Proposals 7 October 2011 (12:00 UT)
Final OTAC approved programme mid December 2011
For approved proposals only:
Start of Phase II proposal submission 10 January 2012
Closure of Phase II proposal submission 3 February 2012
Start of AO-11 observations May 2012

Approved AO-11 observations are planned to be performed during the period May 2012 to April 2013 (approximate XMM-Newton revolutions 2270 to 2452).

Proposal Submission Procedure and Tools

XMM-Newton Proposals were submitted using the XMM-Newton Remote Proposal Submission software.

The following tools are available to assist AO-11 proposers:
  • Visibility Checker Tool:   Check if a target is visible with XMM-Newton
  • Sky Visibility Map:   Check visibility constraints for any position on the sky during this AO
  • Observation Lokator:   Check if a target has been observed or is awaiting observation by XMM-Newton
  • Outstanding Accepted ToO and Triggered Observations:   Check if a target has already been accepted for triggered observations and find the validity period for the corresponding proposal
  • XMM-Newton Mosaic Mode: EPIC Exposure Map Simulator
  • EPIC-pn footprint template for ds9 and Aladin: the files xmm_footprint.tpl and xmm_footprint.xml can be downloaded to be used as templates for ds9 and Aladin viewers, respectively. They should be loaded as Region-Template-Load (in ds9) and FOV (in Aladin). The Position Angles with which a given object can be observed with XMM-Newton can be obtained with the Visibility Checker Tool.

Other Useful Links for Proposers

The following links are available to assist AO-11 proposers: The following external links may also be helpful:

Using the LaTeX Template File

Use of the provided LaTeX template to write the scientific justification is highly recommended. Proposers may submit their justifications either in one or two column format. Instructions to activate a specific column format are provided in the LaTeX template.

Proposal justifications MUST be submitted as one file in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF file can be generated from the LaTeX template in one of two ways:
  1. Use a LaTeX installation which allows you to create PDF files directly from the .tex file (e.g. pdflatex). Some installations of pdflatex do not allow you to include postscript figures. In this case you might use method 2.

  2. Use ps2pdf (preferably version 1.4) to convert a postscript file to PDF:
    > latex file.tex
    > dvips -Ppdf -G0 -o file.dvi
    > ps2pdf14 file.pdf
Please take note of the following points regarding the use of the LaTeX template provided:
  • Users must make sure that generated pdf output from the template is complete both when displayed with a viewer (acroread) and when printed on paper. LaTeX installations vary greatly and therefore it might not be possible to get all proposals to come out correctly with a single text page layout. In some cases the user will have to adjust the \topmargin=-7mm command in the template to vertically center the text.
  • The page limit of 4 pages (5 pages only for justifications of "Large Programs" and "Very Large Programs") includes everything of your to-be-submitted proposal justification. Sections 4 and 5 (on previous work and publications) have to be included within the page limit, too.
  • You are free to include color images in your proposal justification. Proposals are distributed to OTAC in electronic form. However, the scientific content of the images should still remain extractable when displayed or printed in black and white only.
  • The proposal justification can be created both in single and in two-column format. Instructions on how to switch between these two layouts are given in the LaTeX template.
  • The font size (11pt) is mandatory.

All questions regarding XMM-Newton proposal submission should be directed to the XMM-Newton HelpDesk.

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This page was last updated on 7 October, 2011.