Time Critical Observations, ToOs, and Proposal Ranking
The priority of the program is set by the grade awarded by the APF TAC. Each grade, A, B, or C, represents a band of targets that have the same priority in the APF queue. As long as a target of a higher grade is available in the queue, that target will be observed before any lower grade targets. ToO programs are always ranked at the top of the queue, before A grades.
Each program has a quota for the night. The quota is set by larger of 10% or the number of hours allocated to the program by the TAC process. As there are 1000 hours available, a program with a request of 150 hours will have a quota of 15% of the night available. Once that quota is exceeded, targets from the program are no longer considered, regardless of the program’s TAC awarded grade. Any program with a request of less than 100 hours is still automatically awarded up to 10% of the time during the night.
Approved Target of Opportunity and time critical observations will be given the highest priority for that night. Time critical observations must be justified in the proposal. Examples include observing during a exoplanet transit, or simultaneous observations with other facilities. Thus, a median ranked proposal will be given a higher priority than a highly ranked proposal if the observations are time critical.
The date and times for these time critical observations do not need to be specified in the proposal, but the number must be justified.
Starting February 2020, ToOs can be requested during the night. Please contact Brad Holden firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.