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(eg. Perez, SW2009a01)

Javier Méndez
Service Manager

The ING Service Programme

As a consequence of the WHT and INT upgrades, the Service Programme is not offered.

The ING Service Programme (on the William Herschel Telescope only, not to confuse with Isaac Newton Telescope's Service Mode for Regular Programmes) aims at providing astronomers with a rapid and flexible tool to obtain small sets of observations (up to 8 hours). This can be used, for instance, to try new ideas, to complement a regular observing programme already allocated time on the ING telescopes, to monitor events, to observe a target of opportunity or to carry out short science programmes.

Service proposals are queued following scientific priority and attempted at the earliest opportunity, ie. when the requested observing conditions are met, on scheduled service nights (shown on the ING schedules as 'S/D' nights). The statistics and the probability calculatorof the programme provide an overview of the use of the observing time. In general, and given a certain scientific priority or grade, the more relaxed observing, instrument and scheduling constraints, the higher probability of your proposal being completed (see relaxed observing constraints and filler proposals).

Proposals can be accepted from principal investigators working in a UK, Dutch or Spanish organisation, but we can also accept proposals regardless the nationality of the host institution. Monthly submission deadline is midnight on the last day of each month. Proposals are generally withdrawn from the scheme after a one year period. A more detailed description of the ING Service Programme is available.

The Spanish Time Allocation Committee (CAT) runs a Spanish Service Time programme on the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT). These nights are shown on the ING schedules as CAT S.

On the INT it is possible to observe regular scheduled proposals in service mode.

This compilation of publications using data obtained on service nights provides an approach to the scientific productivity of the programme.

Step-by-Step Proposal Submission and Follow-up


First check the available service nights and instruments. You can either browse the nights coming up or search by semester:



Select and submit a suitable instrument application form below. The provided tools in the 'Preparing for Observing' section of ING's astronomy web pages can be useful to plan your observations. This form help file provides a detailed description of how to fill out the form.

Upon submission, your proposal is sent to the Service Manager for acceptance and scientifically appraised at the start of the following month to the proposal submission. If you mark your proposal as urgent, then it will be accepted and scientifically appraised as soon as possible.

IMPORTANT: We allow some flexibility in respect to the non-standard instrument setups provided in the forms linked below as long as it is scientifically justified and technically feasible. Please contact the Service Manager.


ACAMVIS Form Cassegrain. High-throughput 8-arcmin FoV, narrow- and broad-band filters. Spectroscopy allowed.
LIRIS NIR Form Cassegrain. 4.3-arcmin FoV, narrow- and broad-band filters. Imaging polarimetry and spectroscopy allowed.
ACAMVIS Form Cassegrain. High-throughput long-slit low resolution. Imaging allowed.
ISISVIS Form Cassegrain. Long-slit double-arm medium-resolution.
LIRISNIR Form Cassegrain. Long-slit low- and medium-resolution. Imaging and imaging polarimetry allowed.


After the scientific assessment of your proposal as submitted through the phase-1 form, you will be contacted by email and asked to complete a phase-2 service-observing request form, which will include the detailed instrument setup and observing information (eg. finding charts).


As soon as you submit the phase-2 form, your proposal will be technically assessed by members of the ING staff (you can expect some interaction with the respective instrument specialist). When this process is over, then your programme becomes active in the observing queue for the service nights coming up.


You will be contacted by email everytime your proposal is attempted, providing details of the observations, the status of your proposal and asking you to retrieve the data by ftp and feedback. If your programme is not completed within a year from the submission date, then it will be automatically withdrawn.

You can track the progress being made on your proposal selecting below the semester in which it was submitted:

Or search your programme reference: (eg. Perez, SW2009a01)
The observing attempts are listed in the night records.


The ING asks users of the Service Programme to give proper acknowledgement to this effect in the papers that they publish.

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Contact:  (Service Manager)
Last modified: 18 June 2024