Open access protocol and committees

Open access protocol and committees for observing time requests

  • Twice a year, CAHA publishes a Call for Proposals to apply for observing time each semester, Spring (1st January through 30th June) and Autumn (1st July through 31st December). 
  • The information about the call is published about three months in advance of the next semester at the following link:
  • This site specifies the deadline for sending proposals about one month in advance. When all the proposals are received the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) meets to evaluate them in a competitive open access, prioritizing the scientific excellence criteria subject to their technical feasibility.
  • Taking into account the rates given to the proposals during the TAC meeting, the observatory elaborates the schedule of the corresponding semester and the TAC secretary informs the applicants if their proposals have been approved, or not, and the assigned dates and telescope/instrument.

Long-term, legacy surveys as well as new instruments are selected after a public call by the CAHA Executive Committee, according to the recommendations of the Calar Alto Science Advisory Committee (CAHA SAC). 


Open access protocol and committees for Academia

In the particular case of the Academy program, CAHA launches a special Call to the Spanish Universities once a year. The proposals received are selected by an internal committee at CAHA. If the proposal from a given university is accepted, a time slot is allocated at the 2.2 m or at 1.23 m telescope (up to 2 nights).

A CAHA support astronomer will be the contact person for every university and will help the supervisors and the students to prepare their observations in advance. Once the group arrives at Calar Alto, the support astronomer will offer complete support on site: welcome, visit to the facilities, introduction to and setup of the telescope and instrument, calibrations, starting of the observations and support for the whole night with a CAHA technical astronomer.

During the whole observing night, the CAHA night astronomer on duty will accompany the groups of students and supervisors, taking care of any possible technical problem or doubt that can arise from the students or the supervisor. If students are too numerous to be all observing at the same time in the control room, we offer the additional possibility to use the Calar Alto library so that the group is split into subgroups, one group observing in the control room while the others fine tune the preparation of the observations, or work on the data already obtained, in the comfortable, spacious library.

In all cases, after a block of observations is completed, the data are sent by ftp to the students so that they can start the data reduction and analysis on site, finishing the process if needed when returning to their university.


Open access protocol and committees for Mirror Aluminizing

The steps in order to ask for mirror aluminizing are:

  • Fill in the form you can find here

  • An internal technical committee designated by the observatory will evaluate the proposal taking into account the needed technical capacity and the feasibility of the proposal.

  • After the evaluation, a response will be given via e-mail

  • If the proposal is accepted, the jobs will be carried out in the shortest possible time, and always in coordination between the company requesting the aluminizing process and the observatory staff.


Open access protocol and committees for requesting weather and sky quality data

The steps in order to request weather and sky quality data are:

  • Send an e-mail to ‘compuhead @ caha . es’ specifying exactly which data you want, the time period for those values and the use you are going to do with the requested data.

  • An internal technical committee designated by the observatory will evaluate the request.

  • If the request is accepted, the observatory and the petitioner will accord how the requested data will be sent to the last one.

  • In any case, Calar Alto Observatory must be explicitly mentioned as the source of the data in any article, publication, paper, work, etc… that will use weather and sky quality information.


Open access protocol and committees for requesting archived observational data (public archives)

The Calar Alto archives will make the data universally accessible after the initial property one year period for the astronomers granted with the observing time. All the society (not only professional astronomers) will be able to use the data after the mentioned initial property period.


Open access protocol and committees for requesting visiting the Calar Alto Observatory

Because the visits are been organized and managed by Azimuth, an external company, the open access protocol consists uniquely in sending an e-mail to ‘visists @ caha . es’ or visiting Azimuth web page. In any case, that external company will be the one who will take care of the requests. Due to this, there is no need for any observatory internal committee.