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Physics of the Cosmos News

SOFIA Cycle 9 Calls for Proposals Released

30 June 2020

Calls for proposals for SOFIA Cycle 9 observations have been released with a deadline of September 4, 2020, 21:00 PDT (September 5, 2020, 4:00 UTC). Detailed information about the Cycle 9 calls may be found on our website.

Two Calls for Proposals are offered:

  • A Call for regular programs, for which approximately 400 hours of observations will be offered and funding up to $4M is expected to be available for eligible proposers
  • A Call for the SOFIA Legacy Program, which enables programs producing a rich archival dataset of significant scientific value to the astronomical community. Up to four legacy proposals will be accepted, with each allocated up to ~200 hours of observing time (~100 hours of observations per cycle). Funding is expected to be available at the level of $2M per year.

All six instruments—EXES, FIFI-LS, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT, and HAWC+—will be available during the Cycle (July 6, 2021, to March 31, 2022). SOFIA plans to offer two Southern deployments: a long deployment from late July through mid-September 2021 offering GREAT and HAWC+, and a short deployment in March 2022 offering FIFI-LS. Formal updates to the Calls will be provided on July 17, 2020.

Help with Submitting Proposals

Proposals are to be submitted through the USPOT tool. The Help Desk is open to answer any question and inquiry from the community:sofia_help@sofia.usra.edu. In August, several Proposal Tools Webinars will be held, where participants will learn how to use SOFIA's tools to submit proposals through guided examples with the chance to ask questions live. Dates are still TBD, and will be announced on our workshops page and through our e-Newsletter. Slides from the webinar and associated video tutorials for the 2019 Proposal Tool webinar are available here.

New for SOFIA in Cycle 9

  • Starting with Cycle 9, the observatory is adopting a policy of "two year" proposals: accepted regular proposals with priority 2 and 3 will stay active in Cycle 9 and Cycle 10. Priority 1 regular proposals and Legacy Proposals will continue to remain active until completed.
  • For Cycle 9, the observatory is implementing dual-anonymous review. Proposers should now upload two distinct pdfs in their proposals, and not identify themselves in the main body pdf file.
  • The proprietary data period for Cycle 9 regular programs is six months rather than twelve.
  • For Cycle 9, legacy proposals are invited to participate in a two-step process whereby pilot Cycle 9 observations will be performed prior to the decision on committing to a full legacy program.
  • Additional standard modes are offered: the new honeycomb OTF mapping mode for GREAT and the new total power mode on FIFI-LS.
  • The 63 microns (Band B) for HAWC and the new FIFI-LS on-the-fly mapping mode is offered as shared risk.
  • The two polarizations of the GREAT Low Frequency Array can now be set to two different frequencies to allow for simultaneous observations of two different lines.
  • Cycle 9 is potentially the last cycle in which FORCAST will be offered, depending on funding and proposal pressure.
  • Up to 20 hours will be reserved for programs supporting JWST Early Release Science.
  • A joint proposal agreement with the Green Bank Observatory is now in place for Cycle 9.

The European Space Agency LISA observatory


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