FHiREbot Community Access
With the robotic design of FHiREbot and the survey nature of the proposed science, community access to the instrument is straightforward, and will be accomplished through multiple avenues.
- Data Archive
As a first step, all data from FHiREbot will be made available to the community through an NVO compliant archive. This includes not only survey observations, but also targeted observations made for individual investigators after a modest proprietary period.
Limited observations of individual stars and targets of opportunity will be scheduled for robotic observations as requested by the community. We anticipate that the number of requests for snapshop spectra will be relatively modest, and all requests for spectra from research astronomers for scientific purposes will be honored, unless the number of requests begins to exceed a few percent of the available time. If that situation occurs, a more careful process, including a scientific justification, will be implemented to evaluate the scientific merit of the requests.
- Service Observing Programs
Additionally, community investigators will be able to submit proposals for FHiREbot observing programs for up to 5% of the available observing time. Applications for community time will be reviewed by our departmental Telescope Allocation Committee, and approved community programs will be added to the regular, automated observing queue. Data will be made available to investigators through the regular data pipeline. A proprietary period will apply to data for external programs. The opportunity to apply for service observing will be open to all astronomers and announced periodically in the AAS or NOAO newsletters; we will make a special effort to reach out to other colleges and universities in Indiana.
Access via the data archive and snapshot avenues will continue as long as both Spectrabot and FHiREbot are in operation. The service observing program will be available for a period of 5 years after the spectrograph commissioning is complete, and may be renewed at the discretion of the department beyond that time.
This combination of archive access, snapshots, and service programs are expected to total to about 10% of the available telescope time. This amount is consistent with the relative value of previous and ongoing investment in the facility and funding through PREST. Current investment in SpectraBot exceeds $1M, and the department and the University continue to invest resources and personnel in maintenance, upgrades, and instrumentation.