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2018 Large and Long Program Call for Proposals

This page contains information specific to the 2018 Large and Long Program proposal cycle. General information on the LLP proposal process, including proposal format and requirements, can be found on the LLP Proposal Process webpages.


Important Dates

  • December 2017 - 2018 LLP Proposal Cycle Announcement of Opportunity
  • February 2, 2018 - Letters of Intent Due
  • March 1, 2018 - 2018B Call for Proposals released
  • April 3, 2018 - 2018 LLP Proposals deadline
  • Late April, 2018 - LPTAC meets
  • Mid-June, 2018 - 2018B telescope schedule and LLP proposal cycle announcements

Instrument Availability

The instruments available for new LLPs are listed below, along with any particular restrictions of note. At a minimum, facility instruments and modes must be currently commissioned to be available for new LLPs. Successful LLPs may also be limited by the semester-specific instrument availability restrictions announced with each semester's regular proposal Call for Proposals.

Gemini South

  • GMOS-S: Available for use 2018B-2021A.
  • Flamingos-2: Available for use 2018B-2021A. MOS mode is NOT yet available for LLP proposals.
  • GSAOI/GEMS: Available for use 2018B-2021A.
  • GPI: Not available for new LLP proposals

Gemini North

  • GMOS-N: Available for use 2018B-2021A.
  • GNIRS: Available for use 2018B-2021A.
  • NIFS: Available for use 2018B-2021A.
  • NIRI: Not available for new LLP proposals. NIR imaging is possible using GNIRS keyhole imaging.
  • Altair: Unrestricted use for Natural Guide Star (NGS) programs. The new Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) is expected to be commissioned in late 2018A. LLP Proposals including the use of the LGSF are accepted for 2018, but carry the risk that will not accepted if there are issues with the commissioning of the new LGSF.
  • GRACES: Available for use 2018B-2020A. Please see the visiting instrument section below for more information on the use of GRACES by large programs.

Subaru Intensive Programs

PIs from LLP participating partners are invited to submit proposals for Subaru Intensive programs to Gemini through the Gemini-Subaru time exchange program. Subaru Intensive programs applications follow the same rules and eligibility used for the Gemini Large and Long Programs (LLPs). The request of Subaru Intensive program must be clearly stated in the title of the proposal. At most, one proposal will be selected for observations beginning in 2018B. Subaru reserves the right to reject this program if it cannot be reasonably accommodated in the Subaru schedule.

Visitor Instruments

Gemini Observatory welcomes LLP proposals utilizing visitor instruments. The policy on LLP proposals requesting a visiting instrument is available as part of the Visiting Instrument policy. Any PI, either from the instrument team, or from interested members of the community considering a LLP proposal using a visiting instrument is encouraged to contact Gemini Observatory at largeprograms@gemini.edu early in the proposal process to discuss the feasibility of any request.

Note that GRACES, while a visiting instrument, is offered for the 2018 LLP and is not subject to regular visiting instrument policy linked above. According to the current (Feb 17, 2017) GRACES MoU, “Gemini will offer GRACES to its users for its Large and Long observing program -- committing time for up to six future semesters. Gemini will consult with CFHT before approving any Large and Long program that requires GRACES”. GRACES is expected to be available for at least 10 nights a semester for a rolling period of three years, starting in 2017B.

Time Available

Up to 20% of the total time allocation from participating partners is available for LLPs. Details on the distribution of telescope time at Gemini Observatory can be found here. The exact number of hours available to LLPs each semester is not known until each semester's regular Call for Proposals is released. In general, we expect to be able to offer ~210 hours to LLPs at each telescope per semester. Existing LLP allocations, and time reserved for completion of Band 1 LLPs, will also reduce the time available for new LLPs.

The estimated time available for new LLPs is provided in the table below. The time available is estimated as 210 hours less any previously allocated LLP time and a ~10% reserve for future completion of Band 1 programs. The exact time available will depend on instrument commissioning, engineering, campaign science, limited-term partnerships, etc.

Estimated Time Available for new LLPs (provisional)
Site 2018B LLPs 2019A LLPs 2019B LLPs 2020A LLPs 2020B LLPs 2021A LLPs
North 86 hours 111 hours 94 hours 100 hours 210 hours 210 hours
South 189 hours 202 hours 210 hours 210 hours 210 hours 210 hours

Target and Observing Constraint Restrictions

An individual LLP need not request a balanced program across North/South, RA range, observing conditions, etc. However, the ensemble of approved LLPs must not overly impinge on other observing programs. Therefore, the ensemble of approved LPs should not exceed ~25% of any relevant parameter, such as hemisphere, RA range, and observing condition bins. See http://www.gemini.edu/sciops/telescopes-and-sites/observing-condition-constraints for further information on observing condition constraints.

For example, the best image quality, IQ20, in photometric conditions, CC50, only occurs approximately 10% of the time. For the total time available in a typical semester, one would expect these conditions to occur for only ~100 hours during the semester. LLP usage of these conditions would, therefore, be limited to ~25 hours per semesters.

LLPs will also be subject to general semester target availability restrictions, as published in the general call for proposals for each semester.

Previous LLP allocations further reduce the availability of certain Right Ascension and Observing Conditions constraint combinations. Noted below are particular RA/Observing Conditions bins where the total time availability is further limited due to these allocations, listed by semester.

Gemini North

  • 2018B:
    • RA 6-9h: Time for IQ70 CC70 conditions and better within this RA bin is not available in 2018B to new programs.
    • RA 9-12h: Time for IQ70 CC70 conditions and better within this RA bin is not available in 2018B to new programs.
  • 2019A:
    • RA 18-21h: Time for IQ70 CC50 SB50 conditions and better within this RA bin is limited to less than ~5 hours in 2019A.
  • 2019B:
    • RA 6-9: Time for IQ70 CC70 SB50 conditions and better within this RA bin is not available in 2019B to new programs.
    • RA 9-12: Time for IQ85 CC50 and better conditions within this RA bin is not available in 2019B to new programs.

Gemini South

  • 2018B:
    • RA 18-21h: Time for IQ70 conditions or better within this RA bin is limited to less than 8 hours in 2018B.

Gemini Observatory Participants