INTEGRAL Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some frequently asked questions, with corresponding answers, concerning the Proposal Generation Tool (PGT) and the submission of proposals. If you have any further questions you can send an E-mail to the INTEGRAL helpdesk (send a mail). For questions about the installation of PGT, please also read the PGT Installation FAQ page.


Q) What are the specifications of the scientific justification?

A) The scientific justification has to be written in English and must be in PDF format. The justification should use A4 paper size, with a maximum of 5 pages, including figures and tables. Font size must not be smaller than 10-point. The scientific justification should be attached to the proposal in the Proposal details panel of PGT, using the “New Attachment” button at the bottom of the page.

Q) Is it possible to import a Data Rights proposal from a previous AO into PGT, and convert it into an Open Time proposal?

A) Yes, it is possible. To import a data rights proposal from a previous AO, you just need to upload the corresponding .xml file into PGT using the 'Open' button. This will create an Open Time proposal consisting of one single Observation, plus data rights requests on your original list of sources. Please, fill in the Observation GUI with the relevant information.

You may need to optimize the coordinates of your observation in order to cover all your sources in a single pointing. You may, also, need to create additional Open Time Observations with central pointings optimized such that each source in your list is contained in at least one Observation. Be aware that any source at an off-axis distance greater than about 4 degrees will have a smaller effective exposure with IBIS.

We have created a tool that for a list of target positions will propose a grouping of these targets into a smaller number of observations, such that all targets are covered. For details on this tool, its installation and use, please see the SGT page.

Q) Must I install PGT again for the new AO? I already installed it for the previous AO.

A) Yes, it needs to be installed again, because there are new versions for each AO.

Q) I would like to re-submit my old INTEGRAL proposal for the new AO, with some modifications. Do I have to re-enter all the sources and all the corresponding information once again into the version of PGT for the new AO? or is there a way I can directly open my old proposal with the new PGT?

A) It is possible to "re-use" your old INTEGRAL proposal for the new AO without having to type everything into PGT once again. If your proposal was generated with a previous version of PGT (during AO-1, AO-2, ..., AO-5), it needs to be updated by us. We then send it back to you in XML format, which can be directly read into the new PGT. Please contact the INTEGRAL Helpdesk about this at Proposals generated with a PGT version for AO6 or later are saved as a XML file, which you will be able to use in future AOs.

Q) I am trying to fill in the "Proposal Abstract" window in PGT (Proposal Details Panel). Do I have to type it all in by hand or is there any way I can COPY and PASTE text into the PGT window from my text editor?

A) It is possible to cut and paste text into the PGT panels. Depending on what kind of text editor you are using you can try selecting the desired text and copying it using the Edit/Copy function in your text editor. Then place your cursor inside the desired PGT panel space and type ctrl+V. The text should appear in the PGT panel. N.B. You may have to try out different text editors (e.g. the Solaris TEXTEDIT instead of EMACS).

Q) I noted that PGT picked an outdated version of my science justification file. What can I do ?

A) In order to make sure that your submitted proposal does include the latest (!) version of your science justification file, you MUST do the following before you finally submit the proposal:

(1) Select the science justification file (once again) by clicking on the "New Attachment" button in the "Proposal Details Panel".

(2) Then submit your proposal.

If you have already submitted your proposal, and you are not sure that you have included the latest version of your scientific justification, please do as described above and RESUBMIT your proposal using the proposal ID you received after first submission.

Background information: The reason for this is that if your local working copy of the PGT proposal forms has a file name already identified in the "current attachment" window but you have modified the contents of the science justification attachment AFTER having attached it to the PGT proposal forms you MUST re-attach the file as described above before submission, otherwise only the old version of your scientific justification will be included.

Q) I have checked my proposal with the "Check Proposal" button of PGT and my proposal successfully passed the check. However, when I submit my proposal to ISOC, I do not receive any acknowledgment message from the ISOC. Why is this?

A) A common reason is that the E-mail address typed into the Admin Details Panel of PGT is wrong. And thus the ISOC proposal handling system cannot reply to you. Submit your proposal once again with the correct E-mail address. If the problem persists please send a message to

Q) The PGT reports a problem connecting to ISOC. What are the requirements on the configuration of my firewall?

A) Current versions of the PGT place no additional requirements on your firewall, on top of what is needed for regular web-traffic. That is, if you can browse normal web-pages, you can use this version of the PGT.

Technical detail: PGT will first attempt a direct connection on a high port number (1536). If your firewall blocks this port, it will wait for about one minute to determine it can't connect in this way. After that, a normal HTTP connection will be made on port 80.

Q) I've just tried to attach my Scientific Justification, but the PGT just beeped and there is nothing in the Current Attachment field in the Proposal Details Panel. What is wrong?

A) This happens when the filename used for the attachment file exceeds 50 characters (including any extension). Rename the file to some name shorter than 50 characters and try attaching the file again.

Q) In the Observation Time Estimator (OTE), one can specify a "Photon index" in addition to the bandpass. How is the photon index (Gamma) defined? Is it S = E^Gamma or S = E^(-Gamma)?

A) It is S = E^Gamma. In other words, the user has to specify the sign of the photon index Gamma.

Q) I tested the photon index in the Observation Time Estimator (OTE) by using several values of Gamma for bandpasses of 550-700 keV and 700-1000 keV, but I did not see any change in the calculated sensitivities. Is the "Photon index" option working properly in OTE?

A) A wrapper underneath the OTE GUI splits the input energy range into narrower sub-bands and, assuming a power-law spectrum (with the flux and spectral index as user inputs) and calculates the flux within each sub-band. However, for bandpasses narrower than E/2, where E is the central energy of the band, it does not split up the energy range and does not use the information about the power-law spectrum, but the results are valid.

Q) My INTEGRAL proposal was rejected. However in your official letter no reason for the rejection of my proposal was given. How can I obtain some information on the reason of the rejection?

A) In the INTEGRAL Document "Mission Overview, Policies and Procedures" it is stated that "The decision of accepting or rejecting a proposal is final and non-negotiable". Reasons for the rejection of a proposal can be provided on request to the