The California Planet Search (CPS) is a collaboration among astronomers who use the Keck Planet Finder (KPF) and HIRES spectrometers at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Automated Planet Finder (APF) at Lick Observatory.  The governing document for CPS is titled ‘California Planet Search – Organization and Procedures’ and is publically available here.

Membership: Astronomers who wish to join CPS should be in touch with members of the CPS Council: Fei Dai, BJ Fulton (Data Processing Lead), Sam Halverson, Andrew Howard (Lead), Howard Isaacson (Data Distribution Lead and Observer Trainer), Erik Petigura, Lauren Weiss.  The CPS document (linked above) describes the rights, responsibilities, and procedures for membership.

Writing an Observing Proposal with CPS Collaboration: If you are interested in proposing to collaborate with the California Planet Search on cadence observations with KPF or HIRES, please fill out this form*. Full consideration will be given to requests submitted by Sept. 18, 2023 (for 2024A proposals) though later requests will be reviewed.  (NASA and other proposals due before then should submit responses using the form as soon as possible.)  Collaboration with CPS is not required to use these instruments.  Technical information about KPF is available on WMKO’s website. See also the Exposure Time Calculator page and the associated Github code.  See these slides from a breakout session at the 2023 Keck Science Meeting for information about KPF’s current performance.  Time permitting, CPS can provide a few sentence description of KPF’s performance and expectations for queue operations; this can be provided or proposals that have been submitted using the above form and endorsed by CPS.  For HIRES, CPS expects to support a minimal queue in 2024A (perhaps one night per month), but this will depend on the number of successful proposals.

Scope and Functions of CPS: The first paragraph of the ‘California Planet Search – Organization and Procedures’ document explains the scope and functions of CPS:

CPS is an organization that facilitates observations and the production of precise Doppler time series and related data from the HIRES and the Keck Planet Finder (KPF) spectrometers at the W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) and from the Levy Spectrometer on that Automated Planet Finder telescope at Lick Observatory. Unlike typical research collaborations, CPS is not organized around specific scientific goals. Rather, it provides the infrastructure for other research collaborations that have specific scientific goals to execute their observations using the above telescopes. Examples of these collaborations are the research groups of individual faculty members within CPS and multi-institutional collaborations such as the K2 Follow-up Survey, HAT-NET, the California-Kepler Survey, the TESS-Keck Survey, and the Kepler Giant Planets Search. CPS handles the production of data from the scheduling and execution of observations through the standardized reduction of raw data products (e.g., echelle spectra) into refined data products (e.g., radial velocities). It is the responsibility of the collaborating research groups (through their principal investigators) to select targets, use the refined data products in scientific analyses, interpret the results, and write papers. Telescope scheduling with CPS allows participants to have observations spread over the observing semester, instead of being concentrated in the allocated telescope time (e.g., one night at Keck). This facilitates science projects with cadence requirements that are not schedulable by an individual PI. CPS is independent of WMKO, Lick Observatory, and the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA). Users of the instruments mentioned above are not required to collaborate with CPS. CPS functions related to KPF are expected to be largely subsumed by similar activities run by WMKO; see the section ‘Timescales for CPS Services’ below for details.

* Note that completing the form for collaboration with CPS requires logging into a Google account because you will be asked to upload a PDF copy of your draft proposal, which involves behind-the-scenes use of Google Drive.