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XMM-Newton Fourteenth Announcement of Opportunity (AO-14)

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).

The Announcement of Opportunity AO14 is closed now

Effective 26 August 2014, XMM-Newton observing proposals were solicited in response to the Fourteenth Announcement of Opportunity, AO-14.

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

The deadline for XMM-Newton AO-14 proposal submission was Friday 10 October 2014, 12:00 UT.

Important changes for AO-14 relative to earlier Calls

(The policies that apply to XMM-Newton Joint Programmes are described in detail in the Policies and Procedures Document.)

Joint XMM-Newton/NuSTAR Programme

The assignment of NuSTAR support scientists will be discontinued.

Joint XMM-Newton/VLT Programme

Details of the VLT observations, as listed in the Policies and Procedures Document, must be specified in the HRPS form.

Joint XMM-Newton/SWIFT Programme

Swift observations awarded by the XMM-Newton time Allocation Committee, including anticipated ToOs, will be valid only during one AO.

Update on the Joint XMM-Newton/INTEGRAL Programme

Since several years ago, the INTEGRAL Time Allocation Committee was able to award XMM-Newton time. Since the current AO, by agreement with the INTEGRAL Project, proposers interested in making use of INTEGRAL time as part of their XMM-Newton science investigations may submit in response to this call a single proposal requesting time with both missions. The INTEGRAL Project is from now on making up to 300 ks of INTEGRAL observing time available to such joint science proposals.

Proposal Submission Documentation

The following AO-14 documentation is available:

Letter by the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration announcing AO-14 pdf
Policies and Procedures for the XMM-Newton AO-14 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 Programmes)
LaTeX File

On-line documentation contains updated links to references in the text.

The XMM-Newton SOC highly recommends the use of the Scientific Justification LaTeX Template (see further instructions at the end of this page).

AO-14 Timetable

Key milestones for AO-14 are:
Announcement of Opportunity 26 August 2014
Due date for Proposals 10 October 2014 (12:00 UT)
Final OTAC approved programme late December 2014
For approved proposals only:
Start of Phase II proposal submission 13 January 2015
Closure of Phase II proposal submission 6 February 2015
Start of AO-14 observations May 2015

Approved AO-14 observations are planned to be performed during the period May 2015 to April 2016 (XMM-Newton revolutions 2819 - 3002).

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-14 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

  • Pending Accepted ToO and Triggered Observations:
    Check if a target has already been accepted as anticipated ToO, and find the validity period of 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-14 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.

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 the 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:
  • Proposers 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 centre the text.

  • The page limit of 4 pages (5 pages only for justifications of "Large Programmes" and "Very Large Programmes") includes all materials, i.e. science justification and Sections 4 and 5 (previous work and publications).

  • Color images are allowed and proposals are distributed to OTAC in electronic form. However, the scientific content of images should still remain clear when displayed or printed in black and white.

  • The proposal justification can be submitted in single or 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 10 October, 2014.