Call for Proposals for the
NASA Infrared Telescope Facility

DEADLINE: Monday 02 October 2017

NASA Infrared Telescope Facility Observing Proposals. The due date for the 2018A semester (February 1, 2018 to July 31, 2018) is Monday, October 2, 2017. See our online submission form, which is available for proposal submission from 12:00AM on September 01, 2017 until 5:00PM on October 02, 2017 HST.

Available facility instruments include:

(1) SpeX, a 0.7 – 5.3 micron cross-dispersed medium-resolution spectrograph (up to R=2,500) and imager. The 0.8 micron cut-on dichroic was replaced with a 0.7 micron dichroic during semester 2017A. This will increase the spectral wavelength grasp for optically guided solar system targets. SpeX will be off the telescope during January 2018 for maintenance and for work required to get sub-arrays working in the IR guider.

(2) MORIS, a 512x512 pixel Andor CCD camera (60"x60" field-of-view) mounted at the side-facing window of the SpeX cryostat that can be used simultaneously with SpeX;

(3) iSHELL, a 1.06 – 5.3 micron cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph (up to R=75,000) and imager. The short wavelength limit has been lowered to 1.06 micron to enable coverage of the 1.08 micron He I line. Wedged order-sorting filters are being procured to remove slight fringing in the spectra but these will not be available until 2018B. For semester 2018A we are limiting the number of proposals requiring radial velocity precisions less than about 100 m/s since the results from commissioning runs are still being analyzed and the limiting precision is not yet know. Development of the data reduction tool for iSHELL has been delayed by some technical problems. These have now been resolved and the Spextool tool package, incorporating both iSHELL and SpeX should be available for download by October 2017.

Information on available instruments and performance can be found at: Exposure time calculators for SpeX and iSHELL are available on the respective instrument webpages.

PI-led visitor instruments (available on a collaborative basis with the instrument team) include: TEXES (5-20 micron high-resolution spectrograph; contact Tommy Greathouse at for more information), BASS (3-14 micron spectrometer; contact Ray Russell at for more information), and HIPWAC (7-17 micron heterodyne spectrograph; contact Tim Livengood at for more information).

Observers may apply for Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs on IRTF, but these programs are limited to a maximum of 12 hours per proposal. The proposal must clearly define the criteria by which a ToO interrupt would be initiated. Time for ToO interrupts will be taken from scheduled, non-time critical observing programs. Programs affected by ToO interrupts will be offered make-up time from Director Discretionary Time (engineering time) when possible.

Remote observing is available with SpeX, MORIS, and iSHELL. Requests for remote observing must be made in the proposal application – later requests will be considered if requested at least one month ahead of time. If you wish to observe from your home institution, you must comply with the requirements for video conferencing and instrument operation provided on the Remote Observers Information page. (A working three-button mouse is required.) Observers are strongly encouraged to contact Miranda Hawarden-Ogata ( to set up a test of the video link and user interface at least one month prior to their observing run. We cannot guarantee a successful remote observing connection on short notice since we have no control of hardware and software compatibility on the user’s side. It is the responsibility of the PI to provide up to date observing contact information.

To keep our bibliography up to date, and to ensure future funding of the IRTF, we ask that you send us citations to your latest IRTF publications. You can check your publications using our website bibliography page for refereed papers:

Please send any missing references to Bobby Bus (, and please continue to include in your paper the acknowledgement to the IRTF and the name of the instrument used as described at:

Important Notice: A new policy regarding the public archiving of IRTF data has been put in place, effective Aug. 1, 2016. Raw data files taken with SpeX beginning Aug. 1, 2016, and with iSHELL beginning Feb. 1, 2017, will be made publicly available via an online archive after a proprietary period of 18 months from the date of observation. As part of the archive process, the abstract field on the proposal form has been increased to 300 words. This abstract should now include summaries of both the scientific and technical justifications for the observing program, and will be preserved as part of the public archive.