CAT Target of Opportunity program policy for GTC

This policy, starting in January 2017, refers to GTC Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs approved by the Spanish Time Allocation Committee (CAT).

  • A ToO request (or trigger) may be activated only when the available equipment, instrumental configuration, and moonlight conditions are consistent with the CAT recommendations.
  • ToO observations will be always executed by experienced GTC staff.
  • ToO observations may be invoked at any time. In case of visitor time, the observer can be overriden only by ToO programs that obtained a higher grade in the scientific ranking produced by the CAT evaluation. The same rule applies to queue observations. If a visitor observer is affected by a ToO interrupt, the time devoted to the ToO will be given back in the form of queue observations.
  • ToO programs have their own scientific ranking produced by the CAT. If two or more ToO requests are made from different proposing teams on the same or consecutive nights (different targets or same target but different instrumental configuration), execution priority will be given to the ToO project with the highest scientific grade.
  • If one ToO request is already under way, another may not interrupt it until the first has completed independently of the proposal’s position in the scientific ranking.
  • In case that two or more proposing teams request ToO observations on the same target with similar instrumental configuration, and ToO observations have not started, priority will be given to the highest ranked project and the data will be delivered only to the Principal Investigator (PI) of this proposal. If one ToO request is already under way, the data will be delivered to the PI that triggered this override. Observations will not be repeated in order to optimize the use of the telescope.
  • Unused time assigned to a ToO program will not be carried forward to the next semester.
  • Unresolvable conflicts and issues not directly addressed by this policy may be referred the next day to the CAT President and GTC Director.

Additional information and rules are given on the GTC web site.

Page updated: 22 Dec 2016.