Location:Insight-HXMT Announcement of Opportunity for Cycle 3 Proposals
Insight-HXMT Announcement of Opportunity for Cycle 3 Proposals
Release date:2020-04-27 10:05:21 Author:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to invite you to respond to the 3th “Announcement of Opportunity” by submitting proposals for observations to be performed with the Insight-HXMT satellite. The Insight-HXMT Cycle 3 guest observation program is open completely to the whole international scientific community.

 Insight-HXMT is China's first X-ray astronomy satellite. It was launched on 15th June 2017 and is currently in service smoothly. There are three main payloads onboard Insight-HXMT, the high energy X-ray telescope (20–250 keV, 5100 cm2), the medium energy X-ray telescope (8–35 keV, 952 cm2), and the low energy X-ray telescope (1–12 keV, 384 cm2) . The main scientific objectives of Insight-HXMT are:

(1) to scan the Galactic Plane to find new transient sources and to monitor the known variable sources;

(2) to observe X-ray binaries to study the dynamics and emission mechanism in strong gravitational or magnetic fields;

(3) to monitor and study Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) and Gravitational Wave Electromagnetic counterparts (GWEM).

 The Insight-HXMT Data Analysis Software (HXMTDAS) and the CALDB have been updated frequently and the latest version (V2.02) has been released in December of 2019. The GTI calculations have been updated and the corrections for the collimator deformations have been added (the effective areas will decrease by 2–3% after corrections). To facilitate the analysis of the GRB data, the Insight-HXMT GRB Data Analysis software (version: beta 1.1) has been released as well.

Users can download Level-1 data products on the Insight-HXMT website (http://hsuc.ihep.ac.cn/web). Members of core science team can apply for core observation data in the proprietary period; PI of guest observation can download the corresponding data; the data beyond the proprietary period or ad hoc ToO observation data are open access. Up to Dec. 31 2019, 1164 data product and 230 GRB data has been publicly released.


The key milestones for this announcementsUTC-8:

Begin time: Apr. 30, 2020

Deadline: May. 31, 2020

Final approved program: Jul. 31, 2020

Start of AO-3 Observations: Aug. 1, 2020

End of AO-3 Observations: Jul. 31, 2021



(1)   47 Ms exposure duration in total is available in this announcement, the ratio for core proposals and guest proposals is 2:3, as shown in Table 1‑1. 12 Ms is for non-ToO observations (non-outbursting or non-transient sources) and 35 Ms is for ToO observations (outbursting or transient sources), of which approximately 10% may be triggered in Cycle-03. All the approved observations will be Graded with A (30%), B (50%), and C (20%), respectively, and “C” might be observed depending on the available time allocation. In addition, about 2 Ms will be reserved for the ad hoc observations, such as ToO or calibration observations.

Table 1‑1 the approved exposure durations for different types of proposals.


Exposure   duration for core proposals


Exposure   duration for guest proposals


Exposure duration in sum


Non-ToO   observations

ToO observations



(2.5 for galactic plane survey)













(2)   The core proposals are submitted only by the core science group leaders, which should be discussed and determined in the group. Data rights are shared within the core science group members during the data proprietary period.

(3)   The core science group members may submit the guest proposals, and follow the data policy of guest proposals.

(4)   Proposals about the Galactic Plane scan, background observations and calibration observations are only open to the core science group now.

(5)   Joint Proposals are open to coordinate observations with other ground telescopes or satellites. If approved, the proposer should secure the required observation times of other facilities prior to sending the trigger request to Insight-HXMT and coordinate all observations accordingly.

(6)   The data proprietary period of AO should be one year for pre-approved non-ToO observations, and three months for pre-approved ToO observations, if not specified otherwise.

(7)   “PhD Research Program”: 20% of the data in the regular observations can be protected for PhD research. The PhD advisors in the core science groups may apply for the data protection for specified periods in the proposals. If approved, the data will not be released publicly during the proprietary periods.

(8)   Ad Hoc ToO observations can also be applied for data protection. If approved, the data proprietary period should be three months, the same as for the pre-approved regular ToO observations. Otherwise, Ad Hoc ToO data will be released immediately.

(9)   Approved but not yet fully executed Class-A non-ToO observations in AO-2 will be moved to AO-3, and thus do not need to be re-proposed again; all other approved but not yet fully executed AO-2 observations will need to be proposed again with scientific justifications.


Useful links:

White Book: Chinese version ( Download ), English version  ( Download )

Submit via the website (registration needed): http://proposal.ihep.ac.cn/proposal.jspx

Instructions for proposal submission: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/wd/170.jhtml

Observation time estimator: http://proposal.ihep.ac.cn/calc/calc.jsp

Target Visibility Predictor: http://proposal.ihep.ac.cn/TargetVisibilityPredictor/

Bright source warning tool: http://proposal.ihep.ac.cn/soft/soft2.jspx

Spectrum simulation tool: http://proposal.ihep.ac.cn/soft/user_spec_2020.zip

Instructions for proposal submission: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/wd/170.jhtml

Proposal forms download: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/wd/282.jhtml

List of Sources observed: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/ygclb.jhtml

Data Policy: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/xgzc/174.jhtml

Insight-HXMT core team composition and paper authorship rules: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/xgzc/173.jhtml

Insight-HXMT publications: http://enghxmt.ihep.ac.cn/lw.jhtml


I look forward to receiving your Insight-HXMT proposals.


Yours sincerely,

Prof. Shuang-Nan Zhang, PI of Insight-HXMT

Insight-HXMT Science Center, Institute of High Energy Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Apr. 26, 2020