30 June 2006 How operational issues impact science peer review
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Abstract
In some eyes, the Phase I proposal selection process is the most important activity handled by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Proposing for HST and other missions consists of requesting observing time and/or archival research funding. This step is called Phase I, where the scientific merit of a proposal is considered by a community based peer-review process. Accepted proposals then proceed thru Phase II, where the observations are specified in sufficient detail to enable scheduling on the telescope. Each cycle the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) reviews proposals and awards observing time that is valued at $0.5B, when the total expenditures for HST over its lifetime are figured on an annual basis. This is in fact a very important endeavor that we continue to fine-tune and tweak. This process is open to the science community and we constantly receive comments and praise for this process. In this last year we have had to deal with the loss of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and move from 3-gyro operations to 2-gyro operations. This paper will outline how operational issues impact the HST science peer review process. We will discuss the process that was used to recover from the loss of the STIS instrument and how we dealt with the loss of 1/3 of the current science observations. We will also discuss the issues relating to 3-gyro vs. 2-gyro operations and how that changes impacted Proposers, our in-house processing and the TAC.
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Brett S. Blacker, Daniel Golombek, Duccio Macchetto, "How operational issues impact science peer review", Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 62702B (30 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670026; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.670026
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