Announcement of Opportunity (AO-2)

AO-2 'how-to' step-by-step guide

The purpose of this webpage is to provide a practical 'how-to' guide for the steps that a potential Herschel observer will need to take in order to successfully submit proposals to the Herschel Science Centre.

The steps to follow are:

  • Read the Introduction webpage. It introduces the AO, and it also provides a useful summary of the overall AO schedule. You are also recommended to check on a regular basis the AO Latest News page.
  • Consult the Documentation and the Tools webpages to get an overview of the AO documentation package and the associated tools and their documentation.
  • Download and install the HSpot observation planning tool for your computer platform.
  • Register as a Herschel services user. This will not only enable you to get support via the Helpdesk, but is also a requirement in order to be able to submit your proposal(s) in the end. By registering you will also be joining the Herschel email list(s), allowing HSC to provide you with information and support as needed.
  • Plan your observations using the HSpot tool and make sure to avoid duplicating already reserved observations. Note that it is mandatory to supply a complete set of AORs at the submission deadline and to run the Herschel Duplication Checker to identify any potential duplication conflict with already approved AORs. You will need to confirm that you have run this duplication check tool by ticking the appropriate box in the proposal submission form; otherwise you will get a compilation error. Any potential duplication flagged by the Herschel Duplication Checker must be justified in the duplications section of the proposal. The available manuals have been written to help you. Note that the HSpot Users' Guide provides help on how to use the HSpot tool itself, whereas the five Observers' Manuals provide help on how to design your observations.
  • When you are ready to submit your proposal - remember you need to be a registered Herschel services user to be able to do this - use HSpot to submit your proposal (in HSpot under 'Tools' menu choose 'Proposal Submission Tool'). Important: The proposal must be submitted by the proposal PI. Upon proposal submission you should receive an e-mail from the HSC Helpdesk informing of the successful reception of your proposal at the Herschel Science Centre.
  • The actual updating and re-submitting of the proposal is done using HSpot, and can be performed as many times as you wish until the proposal deadline. Note that you cannot update your proposal until you retrieve it first from the HSC Database following the instructions received by e-mail. We recommend that you submit your (draft) proposal early, and then keep updating it. In order to verify that the latest version of your proposal has successfully arrived at the HSC (e.g. in case the acknowledge e-mail takes longer than expected to reach you because of a high load on our mail server close to the proposal submission deadline) you can always log-in with your Herschel userid and password to our PHS web pages and use the option 'Check the status of your proposal(s)/AOR(s)' to check the 'Last Modified Date' field, which provides the time at which the latest version of your proposal was successfully processed at the HSC.
  • At any time upon proposal submission you can also access the submitted AORs and the proposal contents with the help of the "Proposal Submission Tool" via the "Tools" pulldown menu in HSPOT using the options 'Retrieve latest proposal at HSC' and 'Retrieve proposal documentation', respectively. Note that the user submitting the proposal is the proposal PI as seen by the system. The proposal PI can also define 'co-users' who can view and update the submitted proposal. Only the proposal PI can define these 'co-users' by submitting a ticket to the HSC Helpdesk.

Good luck! We are looking forward to many good proposals for observing with Herschel!

Notice to US-based investigators: Investigators based in the USA planning to respond to this opportunity should refer to the following NHSC web page for information on NASA funding to support Herschel data analysis.