K2 Director's Discretionary Target (DDT) program

A small percentage of the available K2 pixels in each campaign may be allocated by the K2 Guest Observer (GO) Office Director as Director's Discretionary Targets (DDTs). The primary utilization of DDT programs is in support of community-proposed requests that are based on exceptional, time-critical observing opportunities that cannot be accommodated with the regular cycle of Calls for Proposals for K2. Other DDT usages include innovative observations that extend the scientific capabilities of K2, and extraordinary events and opportunities that necessitate -- in the view of the GO Office Director -- observations to be obtained with K2 for the benefit of the astronomical community.
Note that all DDT observations are publicly available immediately, and no funding is available to the proposer for DDT observations.

The purpose of the DDT program for K2 is therefore to facilitate observations that address emerging scientific topics or areas missed in the proposal review process and:

  • respond to targets of opportunity, e.g. newly discovered exoplanets or supernovae;
  • yield high-impact science from K2;
  • enhance existing GO programs with additional critical data.

We expect to observe several hundred targets through the DDT program, which amounts to a few per cent of the total targets allocated. The exact number of DDTs to be observed largely depends on the number of short versus long cadence DDTs approved.

DDT Proposal Information

A DDT request should consist of <2 pages of text including all figures, tables, and references, no smaller than 12-point font, and submitted in .pdf format via email to keplergo@mail.arc.nasa.gov. All DDT requests must include:

  • a strong scientific justification;
  • a description of the long-term legacy value of the program;
  • a justification for why the request was not submitted during the previous Call for Proposals;
  • a separate target table (does not count toward the 2-page limit; the required format as well as a template for the target table can be found here).

Beause e-mail may occasionally get lost, you should expect to receive a notification of receipt after submitting your proposal.

In all DDT submissions, please specify the institution and email address of the principal investigator and include the campaign for which targets are being proposed in the subject line of the email (e.g. K2 C16 DDT proposal).

Target overlap with the current GO target list will not be considered unless short cadence observations are being requested of a current long cadence target. Requests for DDT cannot be used to resubmit all or part of a proposal that was rejected by the normal peer review process. DDT proposals from every institution are encouraged.

DDT proposals are reviewed for both technical feasibility by someone in the project office and for scientific value by an outside reviewer. The results of these reviews are sent to the K2 Project Scientist for approval and, if approved, the targets are placed into the observing list for the upcoming campaign. An email reply to the proposer, stating the fate of the DDT request, will be sent out by the GO Office approximately one month before the start of the campaign for which targets were proposed.

DDT Proposal Deadlines

To ensure that approved targets are able to be included in the final target lists for each campaign, proposals must be submitted via email to keplergo@mail.arc.nasa.gov by 23:59 PT (Pacific Time) on the following dates:

  • Campaign 17: November 30, 2017
  • Campaign 18: January 19, 2018
  • Campaign 19: April 12, 2018

Note: operational constraints may cause DDT deadlines to shift. We recommend verifying the deadlines closer to date.

The fixed location and observing window of the Campaigns are provided at the field information page.