The proposal process in response to this Announcement of Opportunity is similar to that of the previous calls and, in summary, is as follows. Proposers will have to submit proposals to ESA by the deadline given in Section 1 using the Remote Proposal System (RPS). This system is a version of the widely known HEASARC remote proposal submission system adapted for the specific needs of XMM-Newton. These proposals must contain the scientific justification and some observing details such as target coordinates, scientific prime instrument, and total required observing time. The OTAC reviews these proposals and recommends priorities. Only proposers of successful proposals will be asked to specify full observing details.
Users must perform the following tasks:
On receipt of the proposals, the SOC will forward them to the OTAC for scientific review, while performing some technical assessments and preparing overall statistics on the response. The OTAC will assign priorities to each proposal (and, as needed, grade individual observations within a proposal). For details see section 7.3.2.
Only proposers of OTAC approved observations will have to specify all observing details via the 2nd Phase XMM-Newton Remote Proposal Subsystem (XRPS). Detailed instructions will be provided within the e-mail which informs the PI about the OTAC decision.
One of the parameters used to plan which observations will be carried out during a particular orbit, is the priority of the observations as allocated by the OTAC. However, for operational reasons, no guarantees can be given that a particular observation will in fact be executed, regardless of its grade.