Deadline: 30/09/2014

  • Description: “Call for Letters of Intent to provide instrumentation or improvements for the INT”

The Board of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) hereby solicits Letters of Intent (LoIs) to provide new or improved instrumentation for the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) on La Palma, and/or upgrades to the telescope infrastructure.

LoIs can be submitted by groups or consortia from the three ING partner countries (UK, the Netherlands, or Spain) or from other countries.

The Board may enter into negotiations with one or more submitters of LoI that take into account the following:

  • We welcome proposals for instrumentation, which can be either new instruments to be operated at the INT or improvements to existing instruments, for instance wider field of view or upgraded detectors, and/or for upgrades to the telescope infrastructure, such as the control software, mechanical systems, or dome. The aim of any of these investments should be the continued reliable and scientifically productive operation of the INT.
  • In return for investment, a group or consortium can request guaranteed time on the INT, up to a maximum of 50% of the available nights, and for a period which can span a considerable number of years. For the period(s) of any guaranteed time awarded, a consortium will be expected to provide suitably qualified personnel to both undertake observations and to maintain and support the instrument. Depending on the proposing consortium and instrument, the ING Board may ask for cash contributions during the operational phase for operations and maintenance of the INT.
  • An important reason for continuing to operate the INT and for upgrading it and/or equipping it with new instrumentation is continued access to the telescope for the UK, Dutch and Spanish communities. Proposers should therefore provide access to those communities.

The ING Board welcomes LoIs submitted by 30 September 2014 via email to the chair of the ING Board. Submitted LoIs will be discussed during the November 2014 Board meeting, after which detailed negotiations can begin with one or more teams proposing the most interesting ideas. The Board may solicit expert advice before its meeting by sending an LoI to a small number of independent assessors.

LoIs should consist of a science case, a technical description, a description of the proposing team, with particular emphasis on track record and management of the project, an indication of the amount of guaranteed time requested, a detailed budget indicating how the team will achieve financial support, and a proposed timeline. The total length of an LoI shall not exceed 10 pages.

For further information please contact the Chair of the ING Board, Christoph U. Keller, keller(AT)