Swift Proposals & Tools
The Swift Technical Handbook contains information about the Swift mission, instruments, performance, and technical feasibility.
Science Justification Template: We encourage you to use the updated LaTeX template or the updated 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 12pt or larger. Proposals that exceed our page limit, are deemed poorly readable or are missing any required sections will be penalized.
Previously Accepted Targets:
Previously Accepted Swift proposals (with Abstracts):
Schedule for Swift Cycle 18
Detailed information on how to submit Swift Cycle 18 proposals and what is new in Cycle 18 can be found on the Swift Cycle 18 web page.
Please also see the Swift GI Program FAQs for details on what types of observations are permitted in Cycle 18.
Schedule for Swift Cycle 17 (Active)
- ROSES 2020 NRA released: February 14, 2020
- Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory Guest Investigator Cycle 17
- Phase 1 proposals due: September 25, 2020 7:30 PM EDT
- Phase 1 proposals review: early December 2020
- Phase 2 proposals due: February 2021
- Cycle 17 observations begin: April 1, 2021
- Cycle 17 observations end: March 31, 2022
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.
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.
- Build XRT products: An online XRT product generator is provided. This tool allows users to build X-ray light-curves, spectra and images of any point source object observed by Swift. All products are publication-quality, and account for all analysis issues such as pile-up and the presence of bad columns. Documentation is available online. In addition, for users who prefer to use the software directly to create the desired products, data analysis threads are provided, detailing the basic steps required for extracting data products. Among other topics, these webpages highlight how to account for pile-up and the best way to deal with background subtraction in WT mode. Information about known calibration and science analysis issues are listed on the XRT Digest Page.
- 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 (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
- 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.