CFHT Call for Proposals

The 2024A call for proposals opens on Monday, August 21, 2023.

NRC and CNRS proposals deadline:
Thursday Sept 21 2023 at 23:59 UTC

ASIAA proposals deadline:
Thursday Sept 21 2023 at 23:59 Taipei time

NAOC proposals deadline:
Thursday Sept 21 2023 at 23:59 CST
There are 8.33 nights available from the CFHT/Gemini/GRACES exchange program for the 2024A Gemini Call for Proposals. Details can be found here.

Kealahou K1 is the official Phase I tool for CFHT. Prospective users applying for NRC, CNRS, ASIAA, or NAOC agency time will do so through Kealahou K1 during each agency's respective Call for Proposals. Additionally, prospective users applying for 2024A Director's Discretionary Time must do so through Kealahou K1 via the Discretionary agency.

Prospective users applying for University of Hawai’i or the OPTICON-Radionet Pilot Trans-National Access programme time should continue to use their respective agency's proposal submission tools.

The K1 Instructions provide general information about the QSO Mode, links to all instruments, their ETC, details of the overheads, and other important points specific to each instrument. Although the UI for K1 is quite intuitive, the tutorial includes login information for returning and new users, character limits and page limits for various sections, instructions on how to invite collaborators, and other details for each of the sections available. Please note that Kealahou does not yet send email notifications once a proposal has been submitted; please download a copy of the PDF version of your proposal for your own records.

Kealahou currently doesn’t offer Apple Safari browser support. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are supported.

Information on 2024A      [1 Feb 2024 - 31 Jul 2024]
Specific notes for semester 2024A
General information on Kealahou K1
Start and end times (twilights) per instrument
Estimated time allocations
RA pressure from Large Programs
Multi-semesters programs for Canadian proposals
Anonymity of Canadian proposals
Programs observing transits
SPIRou notes
Approximate availibility of bright and dark time
SNR-QSO mode
ETC values into Kealahou K1 proposals
Snapshot programs

Specific notes for semester 2024A

There was a filter change performed in 2023B on WIRCam. The filters available at the start of semester 2024A will be Y, J, H, Ks, H2, BrG, KCont, and LowOH1. The broad-band filters Y, J, H, Ks are always available. If you need a narrow-band filter currently not in WIRCam, you must provide a strong case why the requested narrow band filter is essential for your science goals, especially pointing out why you cannot use the filters currently available on the filter wheel.

Also note that even if you are awarded time, there is no guarantee your requested filter change will happen; you may be superseded by a higher ranked program also requesting another filter exchange.

General information on Kealahou K1

  • Kealahou accounts:
    • Returning and current Kealahou Users: If you have previously used the Kealahou K2 Tool to manage a CFHT observing program, use your existing Kealahou account credentials to access the new Kealahou K1 Phase I Tool. If you cannot remember your password, CFHT staff cannot retrieve it. Please reset it using the 'Forgot Password' tool. If you cannot remember your username, but have previously used Kealahou, do not create a new account.
    • New Kealahou Users with CFHT PH2 Accounts: If you have never before logged into CFHT's Kealahou site, but have previously utilized CFHT's PH2 site, your account details have been migrated to Kealahou. You can sign into Kealahou using your PH2 username. If you cannot remember your password, CFHT staff cannot retrieve it. Please reset it using the 'Forgot Password' tool. If you cannot remember your username, but have previously used PH2, do not create a new Kealahou account. Please contact phase1 AT in case you need assistance.
    • New CFHT/Kealahou Users: If you have never used either CFHT’s Kealahou or PH2 sites, please create a new Kealahou account (this includes previous CFHT Northstar users). That can be done so by selecting ‘Create Account’ on the Kealahou main page. Note that if Kealahou matches the email address provided on the sign-up page, or finds an existing user with the supplied name, a new account will not be created. Please use your existing credentials to access Kealahou. If you feel this is incorrect, or you are unsure what existing credentials exist, please contact phase1 AT
  • The Scientific Justification and the Technical Justification can only be uploaded as pdf files. The software will check for page limits. Please make sure you follow the limits for your respective agency.
  • All targets and transit times should now be entered directly from the K1 interface.

  • Estimated time allocations

    The 2024A share of observing time is not firmly established yet. The allocations listed below assume that the associate partners, China and Taiwan, use all their available nights and that all the time available to the Large Programs is allocated.

    • Canada: Approximatively 25 nights (outside the Large Programs)
    • France and Opticon:
      • Approximatively 15 nights (outside the Large Programs and Opticon allocation) for the CNRS PIs
      • CNRS allocated 4 of those nights to the Opticon ORP program through the OPTICON proposal system
    • University of Hawaii: Approximatively 23 nights (outside the Large Programs)
    • ASIAA: Up to 5 nights
    • NAOC: Up to 15 nights

    Start and end times (twilights) per instrument

    For time-constrained observations (such as transits with SPIRou), it may be important to consider the nightly start and end time for each instrument:

    • MegaCam and SITELLE: observing starts and ends at the 12deg twilights
    • WIRCam, ESPaDOnS, and SPIRou: observing starts and ends at the 8deg twilights

    RA pressure for Large Programs

    The table below presents the RA pressure for the current round of LPs. Programs submitting targets in the high RA pressure zones will have a lesser chance of being completed due to the competition from the LPs.

    Multi-semesters programs for Canadian proposals

    CanTAC can recommend that CFHT schedule observing time for multiple semesters for snapshot or regular programs that require modest time allocations each semester. If you are interested in submitting a multi-semester program, please make a note of it in the Any other expenditure section of your proposal.

    Anonymity of Canadian proposals

    The CanTAC requires that proposals be written in an anonymous fashion. CanTAC may choose to reject proposals they feel do not meet this criteria. Please refer to this article on Cassiopeia for more details and for tips and tricks about how to write anonymous proposals.

    The anonymized proposals will consist of the Title, Abstract, Scientific Justification, Technical Justification, Instrument configuration, the list of targets and transit times (if applicable), the references and the link to other proposals. These sections will be given to CanTAC "as is". It is the responsibility of the proposers to ensure that they are written anonymously. Also, please insure that the uploaded pdf files do not include any identifying text in the headers of footers of the file.

    The following fields will be removed from the anonymized proposals: PI and list of collaborators, Relevant previous allocations.

    Programs observing transits

    Kealahou has an interface to input transit times. This interface must be used by all PIs that have transit observations or any similar type of observation that requires specific dates and times.

    SPIRou notes

    • Some targets are reserved for the Large Program SPICE and cannot be accessed by other programs with the same science as SPICE. The list of the SPICE targets can be found here. Please make sure that your proposal does not include those targets. Duplicate targets with SPICE will not be available for observing.

    • A PI who requests a single visit per target (for example a transit) and needs the most accurate telluric lines correction should request additional time to obtain at least one spectrum of their target taken with high SNR of at least 200 and at a different barycentric Earth radial velocity (BERV). If the BERV is different by more than 4km/s from the first observation, telluric lines will move enough to be more accurately identified and removed by the reduction software.

    • The QSO Team may have to skip one or more PI transits, regardless of the grade and rank of the program(s), to avoid scheduling PI transits on consecutive nights. See SAC recommendation #3 of the May 2020 meeting for more details.

    • If your targets can either be observed with SPIRou or ESPaDOnS, please make sure you make a note of it in your Technical Justification.

    Approximate availibility of bright and dark nights for PI programs

    During the 2024A semester, PI programs have access to a total of 90-95 nights. About of the night have the Moon illumination less or equal to 50% (Dark time), and half have the Moon illumination greater than 50% (Bright time). The dark time is split between MegaCam and SITELLE and the bright time between ESPaDOnS, WIRCam and SPIRou.

    SNR-QSO mode

    SNR-QSO is now the default mode for MegaCam and ESPaDOnS and PIs who want to opt-out of this mode must justify it in their proposal. SAC recommendation #6 of the May 2016 report states: SNR-QSO should become the default mode for MegaCam and ESPaDOnS starting 2017A. Program requesting classical mode should justify their request.

    For more information about the SNR-QSO mode, please see the SNR-QSO web page.

    Other references to the SNR-QSO mode:
    • SPIE 2016 paper, Devost et al.
    • SF2A paper on Espadons by Moutou et al., section 2 covers SNR-QSO
    • ADASS 2013 paper, Cuillandre et al.

    • ETC values into PH1 proposal

      Kealahou requires PI to include the values of the exposure time calculators into their proposals. Proposals cannot be submitted if this field is not included. This is not counted toward the page charge. Please include at least a representative set of ETC calculations with your proposal.

      Snapshot programs

      All agencies are invited to encourage their community to submit snapshot programs. These programs must be able to accept an Image Quality worse than 1.2" or significant levels of extinction. Snapshot programs are used not only during bad weather conditions but also to fill gaps in the queues when no A, B or C program are available or suitable. Snapshot programs are not counted toward an agency's allocation.

      Information on previous semesters
      If you wonder about the pressure on telescope time, the relative requests on the main instruments, you can have a look at some graphs for past rounds of proposals here.

      Good luck and clear skies!