Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Fermi-TESS Joint-Program Agreement

Rapid cadence photometric observations with the continuous viewing intervals as enabled by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have the potential to enhance the value of certain Fermi scientific investigations. As such, the Fermi and TESS management teams have established a joint-program cooperative arrangement with the goal of facilitating such possibilities. Through this joint program, proposers to the Fermi Guest Investigator (GI) program can be awarded new TESS targets within fields of view to be covered by the TESS observation plan during the relevant Fermi mission cycle. The scientific investigations that will be supported within this program are those that can be, in the judgment of NASA-convened peer-evaluation committees, enhanced by the combination of new Fermi and TESS observations. Note that both observatories already post all science data products into the public domain without any proprietary ownership period. As such, it is already and will continue to be possible to propose joint analyses of archival data from both missions through the Fermi GI program.

Specifically, investigators affiliated with and resident at US institutions proposing to the Fermi program are eligible to be awarded TESS targets. A total of allotment 1,000 2-minute cadence target slots and 50 20-second cadence target slots will be made available through this program. It is required that the observations proposed can be accommodated within the TESS observation plan and meet all technical and programmatic requirements of that mission. Requests for time-constrained observations or target of opportunity (ToO) observations are permissible provided that they similarly satisfy these requirements. ToO requests could pertain to known objects or to generic object classes which could fortuitously be covered in the TESS observing plan. Only single-year Fermi programs are eligible for inclusion in this joint program.ow.

Proposers intending to request joint Fermi-TESS observations are strongly encouraged to first review the mission specific information available from the TESS Science Support Center web site. They will also be required to append a brief technical justification, comprising one-page or less of text, to their regular 4-page scientific justification text. The scientific justification should detail whether 2-min or 20-sec cadence is needed to meet the goals of the proposal (and why the 10-min cadence Full Frame Image data are not sufficient). General criteria to be considered by the evaluation committees will include:

  • The suitability of using new TESS data products for the proposed investigation;
  • The extent to which the investigation complements and enhances the anticipated science return from the TESS and Fermi missions;
  • The degree to which the proposed investigation places demands upon mission resources; and
  • The degree to which the proposed investigation capitalizes on the unique capabilities of TESS.

Joint program requests will be subject to technical evaluation by both mission teams prior to the usual peer-evaluation process. Information resulting from those evaluations may be made available to the scientific peer-evaluation committees.