APF Observer Information

To see the Deadlines and the Most Recent call for proposals please see Calls for Proposals, Deadlines, and Schedules page.

Call for Proposals

Understanding the APF Queue

The APF is fully queue scheduled with the TAC ranking determining the target’s position within the queue. If you have targets near the beginning of the semester you probably need very high ranking within the queue to get your targets observed. Targets near the end of the semester may not require quite as high a ranking. Thus, it may be to your advantage to submit proposals in every semester in order to get your targets completed. The Queue observing mode tends to complete programs with a deep pool of targets distributed across the sky and programs. Programs with targets covering a very narrow range of RA and DEC may only be completed with very strong proposals which get top ranking by the TAC. For more information please see: Proposal Ranking.

Proposal Submittal Instructions

Submitting an application is a two-step process: on-line creation of a proposal cover sheet and uploading a pdf-format file with the Scientific Justification and other support materials.

Step 1: Create a proposal cover sheet and be assigned a Proposal ID#. Go to the web page below, enter the information required for the form, submit the form and note the assigned proposal ID#, which is required in Step 2.

Proposal Information
1. The first page must include an abstract
2. Select Cadence for queue observing on the cover sheet
3. Pure classical nights must be justified
4. Assume 10 hours per night for calculating total requested time
5. Approved Long Term proposals (LSAPs or LMAPs) from the past year need only submit a one page update, please consult the Policy for Large or Synoptic Approved Programs.
6. Proposal ranking will determine queue ranking
7. Time critical observations will be given higher queue ranking but must be justified
8. TOO programs can submit targets during the night starting in 2021A
For the 2021A semester, 800 hours of the time the 1000 clear hours available on the APF will be open for UC proposals for February 2020 through the end of July 2020.The time will be scheduled in two different modes at the request of the observers.

The observer can (1) ask for their targets to be inserted into the queue operated by the University of California Observatories (Cadence), or (2) ask for specific nights and conduct observations as they wish (Classical). Classical requests need to be justified.All time requests should be in hours. The cover sheet should list the request in nights, assuming 10 hours per night, with fractional nights as appropriate. The TAC will allocate grades to the proposals and those grades (A, B, C) will determine the relative priority on any given night, with guaranteed or purchased time being granted A time.The queue will be run on all nights, except for the whole or half nights allocated to specific classical programs. The queue software is capable of handling multiple programs per night. The target list and the data files for a given observer will be private to the PI unless otherwise requested. A given program can be executed on any given night the queue is running, with the balance of observing time monitored over the course of the semester to match the allocated amount. Simple cadence requirements, ranging from multiple times a night, to once a month can be met and the total observations can easily be supported.

Create a PDF version of this document and upload it at the submission web page:

Graduate Student Applications

Graduate Student Applications: Graduate students are eligible to apply for 3-m observing time. A letter must accompany each proposal from the faculty sponsor stating the student is qualified to carry out the project. Please email the letter to, and be sure the subject line says “Graduate Student Shane Proposal.”

Graduate student observing projects requiring a large number of nights or nights spread over several semesters must be thesis-related; the first proposal must be accompanied by a letter of support from the student’s thesis adviser.

Information about the APF telescope can be found at: