Application types

(see also comments in template file for details)

  • PhD thesis projects
    Proposals may be flagged to indicate work related to a PhD thesis. An additional page has then to be filled in to describe the logistics of the project (planned and/or accomplished). The purpose of flagging PhD programs is to request a particularly thorough initial application with an outline of all anticipated observations. In return, PhD programs can then usually expect subsequent approval within the framework of the initial request, as long as a satisfactory update on the PhD student's progress is provided in subsequent applications.

  • Long term or large projects
    Long projects (more than 2 semesters and/or more than 10 nights per semester) can also be flagged to indicate to the TAC, that further applications are to be expected. Once approved, however, new applications have to be submitted each semester, which will be evaluated again in competition to all other applications. A detailed logistics page has to be supplied, too.

  • Re-submitted applications
    Projects which lost observing time due to weather or technical problems may be flagged. The same is true for proposals which had been rejected previously and are re-submitted. Please help the TAC by providing complete information regarding previous applications, including application codes (such as H11-3.5-nnn for example).

  • Backup programmes
    All applications, which require exceptional observing conditions, have to supply a backup programme or have to be carried out in service mode.

  • Instrument test
    Commissioning runs of new instruments have to be flagged. They must not contain a scientific programme but the latter has to be applied for separately. A detailed breakdown of the time request for the commissioning run is expected, since January 2004 time for technical tests is approved by the director of CAHA.

    Please contact the observatory for further details.

  • Service observations
    Service mode is now routinely available for a certain fraction of the observing time. In the application one of the modes "no service", "partly service" or "service" has to be chosen (see template). The TAC and the Calar Alto director may decide to override the mode preferred by the applicant if necessary.

    For top ranked proposals "service A" may be allocated by the TAC. In addition to a regularly scheduled service observation run buffers are scheduled for these proposals during which Calar Alto staff will try to finish the observations, if not all data could be taken in the first attempt. Regular service observations (service B) are scheduled like visitor programs, but are executed by Calar Alto staff. Weather losses during service B are, in general, not compensated.

    Information concerning the execution of service observations have to be provided to Calar Alto staff via a form on the web or sending an e-mail to

    The scheduled type of the observations is indicated in the letter to the applicant.

  • Target of opportunity (ToO) observations
    Find information about target of opportunity observations on the separate web-page: ToO Observations

  • Director's discretionary time
    A small fraction of the available time (about 5%) will be set aside for short-term allocation by the Calar Alto director. These time requests, not more than 6 hours, can be used when small amounts of data are needed to complete approved programs, or for high yield new observations, where scientific urgency precludes the delay entailed by the standard application procedure. Inquiries should be made using the    Form for DDT service observations

Last updated: September, 2018