Observation Proposals

A detailed set of instructions for preparing observing proposacls can be found on the folloing web page hosted by the SOLAR-B (Hinode) Project Team, ISAS/JAXA.

Guidance for Hinode scientific operations

Announcements from the Hinode Science Working Group

Hinode to Restart Guest Observer Program

June 27, 2008

At the beginning of March we reported to the Solar Physics community on the difficulties that Hinode was experiencing with the data downlink. As a result we announced that requests for HOPs or Hinode Operation Plans, from the external community would be suspended. We expressed hope that this situation would last for a relatively short period. We have now developed sufficient confidence in operating the spacecraft and the three instruments in this new mode that we are ready once again to accept HOPs.

Hinode data are now transmitted through a back-up transmitter that has a considerably lower transmission rate. To compensate for the lower rate we have, over the last four months, increased the level of data compression without significantly affecting the quality of the data and improved our operational efficiency. JAXA has also provided additional funding to increase the number of ground stations and downlinks. Unfortunately there are technical, scheduling and diplomatic issues that have to be resolved before a new ground station can be brought on line. Our Japanese and international colleagues are working hard to resolve these problems and, as they do, the amount of data returned form Hinode will continue to increase from the current level of order 35% to perhaps 60% or more of the original capability by the start of 2009.

Because the planning process that achieves the increases in operational efficiency is more complicated than before, it is necessary to impose new restrictions on HOPs. First the HOP proposal must reflect the reduced data allocation and the recognition that planning is governed by the total data collected in an observation rather than by the rate at which data is acquired. Plans should state clearly which instruments are required and which are optional. Achieving the scientific objectives should not depend on continuous observations over a period of several days. In the future we expect to accept only focused science programs of relatively short duration separated by gaps for data downloading. Currently it is not possible to run high cadence observations continuously for 24 hours per day as was done for the SUMER coordinated campaigns of 2007. Because of these restrictions it is essential that a proposer works closely with an SSC (Science Schedule Coordinator) to develop an observing plan that will fit within the current telemetry limitations.

We look forward to the renewed participation of the international scientific community in the Hinode program and ask for your cooperation and understanding as we continue to recover the original performance of Hinode.

A more detailed set of instructions for preparing HOPs can be found on the - Hinode Monthly Events - link of the Hinode operation page under the banner - Guidance for Hinode Operations at:


John Davis for the Hinode Science Working Group

Call for Collaborations with Hinode

December 12, 2006

By April 2007 the Initial Observing Phase of Hinode (Solar-B), a joint JAXA/NASA/UK mission, will be complete. At or about this time all the science data from the mission will be made available to the community as will all new data as it is received.

To broaden community involvement in the Hinode mission the science team is offering the opportunity to participate in the definition and development of the observing program. This can take the form of either collaborative investigations with other ground or space based observatories or a request for a set of observational sequences to meet a specific scientific objective formulated by the requestor. To facilitate this program the Hinode team has created a group of seven Scientific Schedule Coordinators (SSCs) to both review requests and assist requestors in preparing their plans. It is the policy of the Hinode Science Working Group that all observing requests that are consistent with the objectives of Hinode will be accepted. However it is strongly recommended that individuals discuss their proposed observations with one of the SSCs before preparing and formally submitting their request to ensure that their proposed observations are not already part of the core team's program. Please note that having your observation program selected and implemented does NOT entitle you to exclusive use of the data. The Hinode open data policy applies to all data. Where the observation program involves more than one instrument, the requestor should contact an SSC associated with his primary instrument.

Planning for Hinode operations is performed on a three month cycle that is updated monthly. At the end of every month a meeting is held to confirm the observations for the coming month and to lay out the broad objectives for the second and third months. The monthly plan provides guidance for the three instrument teams' Chief Observers who are responsible for preparing the daily observing plan. For example requests for observations received between the 15th of November and the 14th of December will be presented and discussed at the monthly meeting held at the end of December. (i.e. the cut-off for consideration is the 14th day of each month.) If approved the earliest opportunity for their inclusion into the observing plan would be March. Requesters should understand that although every effort will be made to perform their observations when requested the Hinode team does not and cannot guarantee when they will actually occur. It is particularly important for collaborators who have assigned time on ground based observatories to have their requests in well in advance.

Hinode was designed with the intent of making simultaneous observations with three instruments in order to understand how changes in the photospheric magnetic field propagated upward through the various levels of the solar atmosphere. Collaborative observing programs using all the three instruments will be regarded favorably. However proposals whose emphasis is on the observations from only one or two of the three instruments are certainly not excluded.

The requests are expected to be short - a maximum of three pages - and written in English. They should specify the science objective, how they expect to achieve the objective, provide an outline of the observations by one or more of the instruments and how long an observing period is required. Currently the XRT and EIS instruments have interactive web pages that allow scientists to plan their observations.

John M. Davis for the Hinode SSCs

page top