Continuing Opportunity: Joint Observations with Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission
Agreements for Joint Observations with the NRAO were made before the observatory was split into three: NRAO, GBO, and LBO. Access to the Joint Observing program will continue for the GBT and VLBA, at least for semester 17B. Since the arrangements were made through the NRAO, the documentation below does not directly mention the GBO or LBO.
Swift is a robotic, multi-wavelength observatory with instruments covering the following energy bandpasses: 15-150 keV (Burst Alert Telescope; BAT), 0.3-10 keV (X-ray Telescope; XRT), and 160-800 nm (UltraViolet/Optical Telescope; UVOT). The primary goal of this mission is to determine the origin of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and use these bursts to probe the early universe. Swift is also a valuable asset for obtaining multi-wavelength images, spectra, and light curves on interesting Targets of Opportunity (ToOs) and other non-transient sources. With nearly instantaneous data dissemination, Swift is the premier observatory for discovery and follow-up of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and other transient sources.
To foster correlative observations, a joint Swift/NRAO observing program has been established, detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding. By this agreement, the Swift Program permits NRAO to award up to 300 kiloseconds of Swift observing time per year. This award of time shall occur without further scientific review by the Swift mission, provided compelling justification is provided to NRAO that such observations substantially enhance the scientific reach of the proposed observations. Similarly, NRAO permits the Swift GI Program to award NRAO observing time. Please see the MoU for details.
The Swift GI program was announced in the 2016 NASA ROSES program solicitation (Appendix D.5). Cycle 13 proposals were due on 23 September 2016. Cycle 13 observations will commence on or around 1 April 2017, and last approximately 12 months. See the Swift web pages for details.
All successful NRAO investigators may be eligible for Swift GI funding, provided their observing programs complement the Swift science program. To be considered for Swift GI funding, NRAO proposers may use their NRAO science justification, but they need to append a one-page budget justification. In making their case for such funding, proposers should address how the use of NRAO time will enhance the Swift science return. The extent to which such proposed "correlative investigations" will augment the science return from Swift will be considered in the proposal evaluation process, and the peer-reviewed Swift GI proposal-evaluation process will identify programs with sufficient merit to be allocated funding by Swift. Hence, proposals falling in the NRAO Regular proposals, Triggered proposals, and Large proposals categories, are eligible for funding through this opportunity.
Please be aware, however, that the award of NRAO observing time will not be a guarantee of Swift funding; likewise, the granting of observing time is not contingent on Swift funding. Questions regarding the Swift GI program should be directed to Eleonora Troja (firstname.lastname@example.org).