Guaranteed Time Observations

The policies describing the rights and obligations of Guaranteed Time Observers (summarised in Section 11.5 of the Call for Proposals) were originally defined in the Appendix 2 of the Council document ESO/Cou-996 (2004). Revisions were implemented in ESO/Cou-1514_rev (2013) and in ESO/Cou-1628 (2015).

In particular this means:

1.      The user community must be informed of the GTO programs at the time of the Call for Proposals.

2.      GTO Teams can either provide the specific list of targets, or the field coordinates and size to be explored. In both cases instrument setups and integration times must be specified. Like for any other observations, GT Observations are protected against duplication. OPC will reject proposals that will clearly duplicate GT Observations. However, GT observers do not have exclusive rights over the targets they intend to observe or over the science they intend to investigate. OPC can recommend observations of the same targets with different instrument setups or different targets of the same nature proposed by non-GTO scientists. Protection against duplications will be enforced only on a semester-by-semester basis. In the case of GTO surveys or focused projects taking a large fraction of the GTO time, i.e. Large GTO Programmes, the whole observing plan may be made public at once.


GTO data and meta-data protection policy

The data obtained by GTO programmes are subject to the conditions stipulated in the contracts (and/or their amendments) between ESO and the instrument Consortia. These conditions may deviate from the regular proprietary period and meta-data policies valid for regular programmes. The deviations are justified by the specific scientific cases.
In particular, the proprietary periods for a sub-set of the runs belonging to the following running GTO contracts are subject to special agreements:

Instrument Protection Duration
ESPRESSO data and meta-data Whole extension of GTO contract plus one year.
SPHERE data and meta-data Four (4) semesters.

Data subject to meta-data protection do not appear in the Archive queries.

Running GTO contracts

The list of running GTO contracts, their extensions and their formal entitlements are summarized in the following table.