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XMM-Newton Seventh Announcement of Opportunity (AO-7)

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

Effective 28 August, 2007, XMM-Newton observing proposals were solicited in response to the Seventh Announcement of Opportunity, AO-7.

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

The Deadline for XMM-Newton AO-7 submission was 5 October, 2007, 12:00 UT.

Important changes for AO-7, relative to earlier Calls

Scientific Justification
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.

Targets of Opportunity
It is allowed to propose observations of unpredictable events from sources the coordinates of which cannot be provided in advance. The procedure for proposing such observations is described in section of the Policies and Procedures document.

Very Large Programs
Scientific programs requiring between 1 Msec and 3 Msec of observing time are referred to as "Very Large Programs". The XMM-Newton Users Group explicitly encourages the submission of "Very Large Programs". Further details are given in section 5.2.3 of the Policies and Procedures document.

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-7 proposers:

Proposal Submission Documentation

The following AO-7 documentation is available;

Letter by the Director of Science announcing AO-7 pdf
Policies and Procedures for the XMM-Newton AO-7 Onlineps.gzpdf
XMM-Newton Users' Handbook (UHB) Onlineps.gzpdf
XMM-Newton Scientific Justification LaTeX Template
(Scientific Justification must not exceed 4 pages, 5 pages for Large Programs)
Tex File

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

Notes on using the LaTeX Template File

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") 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.

AO-7 Timetable

Key milestones for AO-7 are:
 Announcement of Opportunity28 August 2007
 Due date for Proposals5 October 2007 (12:00 UT)
 Final OTAC approved programmelate December 2007
For approved proposals only:
 Start of phase II proposal submission14 January 2008
 Closure of phase II proposal submission8 February 2008
 Start of AO-7 observationsMay 2008

Approved AO-7 observations are planned to be performed during the period May 2008 to May 2009 (approximate revolutions 1537 to 1720).

Other Useful Links for Proposers

The following links are available to assist AO-7 proposers; The following external links may also be helpful;
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 21 July, 2008.