JUNE 14, NEWS: The date for the white paper has been extended to July 15, 2018.

(Copy of a letter sent to the ASA exploder on 11 April 2018). See also the current list of white papers in this post.

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to solicit White Papers describing exciting science cases that make use of the unique capabilities of “MAVIS” (MCAO Assisted Visible Imager & Spectrograph) - a new Australian-led instrument concept for the Adaptive Optics Facility on ESO’s VLT. More details on MAVIS can be found at here. In summary, the expected top-level requirements are:

  • Field of View: 30”x30”
  • Wavelength Coverage: VRI, extended to UBz (goal)
  • Imager with broad- and narrow-band filters
  • Angular resolution (FWHM):20 milliarcsec at V (7 mas imaging pixels)
  • Strehl ratio of 10-15% in V under median seeing conditions
  • Sky coverage: > 50% at the Galactic poles
  • Spectroscopy options include single monolithic IFU, deployable multi-IFUs, or single-fibre MOS, with R > ~5000

(Additional requirements can also be explored within the white paper, though we recommend contacting the MAVIS team - project-scientist@mavis-ao.org - for further guidance.)

As part of defining the detailed MAVIS instrument design, we are looking for compelling science case descriptions from the astronomical community that can make use of these unique capabilities to make progress on critical and timely science questions. These “White Papers” should be no more than six pages in length (including all material such as figures and references), written as succinctly as possible, and within a general context understandable by scientists outside your specific field. Following review and iteration with the MAVIS team, the White Papers will form the basis of the MAVIS Science Case going forwards.

How to get involved

If you are interested in contributing a MAVIS White Paper, or would otherwise like to receive updates on the process, please proceed as follows:

  • Step 1: Get in touch as soon as possible by emailing project-scientist@mavis-ao.org. Include information on what specific topic will be addressed, and the names of any co-authors, if known. We would like to encourage coordination and collaboration between White Paper authors, and will work with you to avoid redundancy where possible. Early expressions of intent will help facilitate this process.
  • Step 2: Please aim to send an initial draft of your White Paper to project-scientist@mavis-ao.org by May 4th. White Papers received by this deadline will be included for discussion at the MAVIS Workshop in Sydney, May 7-9th, where the overall shape of the MAVIS Science Case will be defined. You are strongly encouraged to present your White Paper at the workshop, by registering here.
  • Step 3: Final White Paper submissions will be accepted up until July 15th (extended from original June 15). Following this date, construction of the final MAVIS Science Case will begin, and White Paper authors should expect to be directly involved in that process.

Final White Papers will be made public on the MAVIS website (with author permission). We will also explore the possibility of publishing the White Papers through a journal special edition.

White Paper Structure

Each White Paper should address the following aspects under separate section headings:

  • Key Questions: One sentence description of the 1-2 proposed science questions.
  • Open Problems: What are the open problems/questions in this field?
  • Observational Needs: What kinds of observations are needed?
  • Instrument Requirements: How does this translate into specific minimum requirements, namely:
    • Field of View (imaging field, MOS or IFU size)
    • Image quality (required Strehl or FWHM)
    • Spectral range / bandpasses, highlighting any narrow-band needs
    • Spectral resolving power (R = \(\lambda/\Delta\lambda\))
    • Multiplexing needs (e.g. targets per square arcminute)

We provide a template (MS-Word or LaTeX) to assist in preparing your White Paper.

Summary of Timeline and Key Dates

The overall timeline is summarised as follows:

Milestone Date
Release of Call for White Papers 10 April 2018
Deadline for White Paper initial drafts 4 May 2018
MAVIS Science and Technology Workshop, AAO, Sydney 7-9 May 2018
Final White Paper Deadline 15 June 2018
Expected ESO Call Deadline Mid July 2018 (TBC)

White Paper submission

White Papers (drafts and final versions) must be submitted electronically, as a pdf document, via email to project-scientist@mavis-ao.org. Files larger than 10Mb should be provide via a download link or similar. White Papers should be up to six pages in length, including text, tables, figures and references. Text must be single spaced with a minimum font size of 12 points. We strongly encourage authors to use the templates provided (MS-Word or LaTeX).

MAVIS Information and Resources

Here we provide links to information related to this call. This information will be updated in the coming weeks, and prospective authors who have contacted the MAVIS team will receive notifications of these updates by email.

MAVIS Blog – General updates from the MAVIS team
About MAVIS – Overview of the MAVIS instrument and science
White Paper templates (MS-Word or LaTeX) – Template to be used when generating your White Paper
MAVIS Resources – Evolving collection of simulation materials (image simulations, sensitivities, etc.)
ESO Science Case – Initial collection of science cases from ESO Working Group