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Call for Proposals and HST Primer
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Hubble Space Telescope Primer for Cycle 23 > Chapter 1: Introduction > 1.3 Resources, Documentation and Tools

1.3
1.3.1 Phase I “Roadmap”
The Phase I Proposal Roadmap is a high level step-by-step guide to writing a Phase I Proposal. At each step, links are provided to relevant information.
1.3.2 Cycle 23 Announcement Webpage
They Cycle 23 Announcement webpage contains links to information needed for preparing a HST proposal. It also contains late-breaking updates regarding the Phase I process and a FAQ (frequently asked questions).
1.3.3 Cycle 23 Call for Proposals
The Call for Proposals discusses policies and procedures for submitting a Phase I proposal for HST observing or Archival Research. It also provides a summary of the proposal process from proposal submission to the execution of observations. The Call for Proposals document is available at the Cycle 23 Announcement webpage.
1.3.4 Instrument Handbooks
Instrument handbooks, the primary source of information for HST instruments, provide additional information beyond what’s presented in this Primer. Please use current versions of the handbooks when preparing the Phase I proposal. The latest handbook versions for active and decommissioned instruments are available at the HST Documents webpage. Other potentially useful documents, such as instrument science reports, data handbooks, and calibration conference proceedings are also accessible from that website.
1.3.5 The Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT) and the Aladin Sky Atlas
The Astronomers Proposal Tool (APT) is the software interface for all Phase I and Phase II proposal submissions for HST. Please refer to the APT webpage for information regarding the installation and use of APT.
The Aladin Sky Atlas, available through APT, can be used to display HST apertures on images of the sky. This software interface provides access to a wide variety of images and catalogs; note that the GALEX catalog is available to assist in checking for potentially dangerous objects for the UV detectors. Training documentation and videos can be found on the APT Training Materials webpage.
1.3.6 Exposure Time Calculators (ETCs)
Information in this Primer, together with the instrument handbooks, provides the means for estimating acquisition times, exposure times, and other observational parameters. Values provided in document tables, or as illustrations, are only approximations; reliable calculations that take into account the complex telescope and instrument operation are best obtained using software tools provided by STScI, such as the Exposure Time Calculators (ETCs) and APT (Section 1.3.5). The ETCs, for example, provide warnings for target count rates that exceed saturation and safety limits. Note, however, that Signal-to-Noise (S/N) predictions from the ETCs do not include the effects of degrading CTE (Charge Transfer Efficiency) for CCD detectors.
Descriptions of the ETCs for active instruments, including determinations of exposure time as a function of instrument sensitivity and S/N ratio, are available in these documents: Chapter 9 of the ACS Instrument Handbook, Chapter 7 of the COS Instrument Handbook, Chapter 6 of the STIS Instrument Handbook, and Chapter 9 of the WFC3 Instrument Handbook.
1.3.7 HST Data Archive
The HST Data Archive, a part of the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at STScI, contains all the data taken by HST. Observations from General Observer (GO) and Guaranteed Time Observer (GTO) programs are available to the community upon the expiration of their proprietary periods. Observations taken by Treasury programs (see Section 3.2.5 of the Call for Proposals) and GO Pure Parallel programs (see Section 4.2.2 of the Call for Proposals) carry no proprietary period.
Links on the MAST homepage provide access to an overview of the HST Data Archive, procedures for retrieving data, access to the MAST Portal and the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA). Section 7.2 contains additional information about the HST Data Archive. Archive partner sites at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Spain and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre in Canada are also available.
The HST Duplication Checking Web tool is also available at MAST. More information on duplication checking can be found in Section 5.2.2 of the Call for Proposals.
The Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA) is a project designed to enhance science from HST data by improving the astrometric properties of the data, combining exposures into science ready mosaics, and producing object catalogs. The HLA also provides advanced browsing capabilities, an interactive preview viewer and a footprint service, among other services. The HLA is a joint project of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC). Section 7.3 contains more detailed information about the HLA.
The HLA also produces source lists for tens of thousands of HST images. The Hubble Source Catalog (HSC) combines these visit-based WFC3, ACS, and WFPC2 source lists from the HLA into a single Master Catalog, hence providing entry into the field of database astronomy. Searches that would require months or years to perform in the past can, in many cases, be done in seconds using the HSC. More information about the HSC can be found in Section 7.4.
Questions about the Archive and archival data should be sent to the Archive help desk, archive@stsci.edu.
1.3.8 Data Reduction and Calibration
Introduction to the HST Data Handbooks is a general overview of HST data formats and software tools. It complements the instrument data handbooks that contain more details about calibration and data analysis. The latest versions of the instrument data handbooks are available at the Documents webpage.
The Space Telescope Science Data Analysis Software (STSDAS) webpage has links to the software used to calibrate and analyze HST data, along with documentation on its use. More details are available in Section 7.1. The DrizzlePac Handbook provides information about the DrizzlePac software package that has replaced MultiDrizzle in pipeline calibration and post-pipeline processing. Some information about dither patterns, drizzling, and various observing considerations are included in it, but for more detailed information, please refer to the Phase II Proposal Instructions and instrument handbooks.

Hubble Space Telescope Primer for Cycle 23 > Chapter 1: Introduction > 1.3 Resources, Documentation and Tools

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