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Swift Proposals & Tools

  • Science Justification Template: We encourage you to use the LaTeX template or the MS Word template for the scientific part of the proposal (i.e., the written text component of the proposal). The style files needed to compile the LaTeX file can be found here. If you use your own template, make sure that your proposal is readily legible, and that you include the same sections as in the template. It is strongly recommended to use a font size of 11pt or larger. Proposals that exceed our page limit, are deemed poorly readable or are missing any required sections will be penalized.
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    Previously Accepted Targets:

    Previously Accepted Swift proposals (with Abstracts):

    Schedule for Swift Cycle 12

    • ROSES 2015 NRA released: February 13, 2015.
    • ROSES 2015 Appendix D.5 "Swift Guest Investigator Cycle 12"
    • Notices of Intent: no NOIs are due for Swift Cycle 12
    • Phase 1 proposals due: September 25, 2015, 4:30PM EDT
    • Phase 1 proposal Review: December 2015
    • Phase 2 proposal due: February 2016
    • Cycle 12 observations begin: April 1, 2016
    • Cycle 12 observations end: March 31, 2017

    Detailed information on how to submit Swift Cycle 12 proposals and what is new in Cycle 12 can be found on the Swift Cycle 12 web page.

    Please also see the Swift GI Program FAQs for details on what types of observations are permitted in Cycle 12.

    Schedule for Swift Cycle 11 (Active)

    • ROSES 2014 NRA released: February 18, 2014.
    • ROSES 2014 Appendix D.5 "Swift Guest Investigator Cycle 11"
    • Notices of Intent: no NOIs are due for Swift Cycle 11
    • Phase 1 proposals due: September 25, 2014, 4:30PM EDT
    • Phase 1 proposal Review: early December 2014
    • Phase 2 proposal due: early February 2015
    • Cycle 11 observations begin: April 1, 2015
    • Cycle 11 observations end: March 31, 2016

    Swift Target of Opportunity Requests

    Swift accepts requests for Target of Opportunity (TOO) observations on transient astrophysical sources (GRB and non-GRB targets). For more information, and to submit a TOO request visit the Swift TOO page.

    Planning Tools

    Want to get an idea of how the BAT, XRT and UVOT instruments will perform on your favorite source? Check out our Swift simulation tools!

    • Viewing To determine when, or if, a given object can be viewed by Swift, use the Viewing tool.
    • XSPEC Response matrix files and ancillary response files for BAT, XRT, and UVOT are available for download here. Example scripts for the generation of simulated spectral data using these calibration files and the X-ray spectral fitting package XSPEC are available here.
    • WebSpec To simulate spectra on-line, use WebSpec, the WWW interface to XSPEC. A variety of spectra models are available from the page. Use any of these to predict your Swift BAT, XRT or UVOT spectrum.
    • WebPIMMS If count rates are what you are after, visit WebPIMMS, a mission count rate simulator powered by PIMMS --- the Portable, Interactive Multi-Mission Simulator. Choose a flux, or count rate from any of a wide variety of previous and current missions, then convert it into Swift BAT, XRT and UVOT count rates.
    • XRT data simulations The ASI Science Data Center in Italy have provided a web-based XRT Data Simulation tool. The tool creates science-like event FITS files from simulated or real sky fields.
    • XRT optical loading Bright optical sources can leak through the thin XRT optical blocking filter, causing "optical loading" that can severely complicate or compromise analysis of the X-ray data. There are several possible mitigations to this problem, but no good solutions. In general, objects with V < 8 mag should not be observed in PC mode. Objects with V < 5 mag should not be observed in any mode, as the data will be poorly calibrated and may be useless. To determine whether optical loading is likely to contaminate your dataset use the Optical Loading Calculator. If you have an extremely compelling science case that requires such an observation, we strongly suggest that you contact the Swift XRT team ( or to discuss the observation before submitting your proposal.
    • UVOT signal-to-noise calculator The UVOT instrument team at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory have developed a web-based tool for calculating S/N, background levels, and sensitivity limits.
    • UVOT Bright Star Checker Every PI needs to use the UVOT Bright Star Checker to see if there are bright sources in the UVOT field of view that might prohibit the use of UVOT or impact the scientific objectives of your proposed observation.
    • UVOT Filter Modes UVOT filter settings are specified by an observing mode which groups the requested observations into filter groups. The UVOT filter mode table will help you prepare your observations.
    • Roll Angle To determine the allowed range of roll angles for a given target use the Roll Angle Calculator. New
    • BAT maps If it's the BAT Field of View you're interested in, check out the BAT partial coding maps made available by the BAT team.