Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
For the Discretionary programme (DP)

Below is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and their answers, relating to the preparation and submission of proposals for CHEOPS' Discretionary Programme (DP). This webpage will be updated regularly to answer questions that come up relating specifically to the programme, including submission of proposals. If you do not find an answer to the question you have, please review the documentation provided on the DP webpage. If you still cannot find the answer, then please send an email to cheops-support@cosmos.esa.int. Please note that it may take a few days for questions to be answered, and to be put up onto this webpage.

 

Q1) What ideas and targets are eligible?

Full details, including constraints on the number and type of targets that can be proposed, are provided in the Policies and Procedures document which is available at this link.

 

Q2) What is the turn-around time?

We recomend at least 3-4 weeks. All DP proposals received in the Phase-1 system are vetted by the ESA CHEOPS Project Scientist (PS) for their eligibility and technical feasibility, and then forwarded to the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) for their review. Upon approval, the PS will be in touch with the proposers to prepare their Phase-2 input. Once all input has been crosschecked by the PS and Science Operations Centre (SOC), it can be submitted. An activity plan, or observing schedule, covering 1 week of observations is typically created by the SOC on Mondays, discussed by the Project Science Office (PSO) on Tuesdays, uplinked to the spacecraft on Wednesdays, and start to be executed on Saturdays. Generation of the activity plan itself typically takes a couple of days and starts already on Monday - it should be possible to include new observations requests (ORs) for consideration that have been completed AND have been submitted by the midnight GMT on the day before the planning starts (Sunday).

 

Q3) To what level of precision do I need to provide target coordinates?

Please see our dedicate webpage explaining the Coordinates format to avoid delays and disappointment. The coordinates for targets for any CHEOPS observation need to be provided in degrees (J2000, icrs) with precision of a minimum of 6 (RA) and 5 (Dec) decimal places. The correct coordinates need to be provided as part of the PHT1 input - directly into the proposal handling tool that you use to submit yiour proposal - as this information is sent directly to the cScience Operations Centre on approval of a proposal, and cannot be updated when preparing observation requests. 

 

Questions about CHEOPS or the GO Programme? Please email cheops-support at cosmos.esa.int and we will be happy to help!
This website was last updated on 13 February 2024.