SMT Proposal Information

Proposals are currently being accepted for the Fall '12 observing season.

Proposals will be accepted by email in PDF or MSWord format. Send them to the following address:


Hard copies will also be accepted. Please send ONE copy to:

Marty Benson
ARO/Steward Observatory
The University of Arizona
933 N. Cherry Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85721


Planning an observing run

There are a number of online services you may wish to consult when planning an observing run at the SMT. When applying for time at the SMT, you will want to download a SMT Proposal Summary Sheet.

The proposal consists of the cover sheet, a brief scientific justification (not more than 3 pages), special equipment requests, special software request, and the source list with required observing times and time justification. The use of special PI instrumentation should also be noted.

To assist in writing a good SMT proposal, you will probably want to consult the SMT Specifications page for instrument availability and sensitivity specs.

Preparing for the Run

  • In preparation for your run at the SMT, you should take the time to read the many manuals available here.
  • Emerald Peak lies in an environmentally-sensitive area, so mountain travel clearance requires a little more forward planning than, say, a trip to the ARO 12-meter.
  • You should have a look at the MGIO Observer's Checklist before your observing run.
  • You may also find it helpful to print out a few copies of this sample SMT Observing Log Sheet (PS) for your observations.

Getting to the site

If you are new to Arizona, the following basic map of Tucson may prove useful. Once headed east on Interstate-10, you will pass the small cities of Benson and Willcox before reaching the US Route 191 NORTH exit towards Safford (exit 352). Bearing north, you will gradually climb among mid-altitude desert grassland for about 25 miles before reaching the Swift Trail (Route 366) turnoff. You will likely find this map of the Safford area (courtesy of Larry Wilson) helpful. The MGIO base camp is 1/2 mi (1 km) from the Rt 366/Rt 191 intersection, on the right side of the road, across from the glittery fenced confines of an Federal Medium Security Penitentiary. Be sure to sign in at the Base Camp, pick up your permits and get updates on the road conditions ahead.

Once on your way up the hill, relax and enjoy the spectacular views. Travel time to the SMT from the base camp is ~75 minutes under good conditions. When the paved road gives way to gravel, you are about 7 miles from the access road turnoff. In about 2 miles, upon reaching Hospital Flat, a popular camping site, you are exactly 4.9 miles from the MGIO turnoff. There are no signs marking the access road junction, so be wary! You may find this topographical map of Emerald Peak + vicinity (also courtesy of Larry Wilson) useful. Upon reaching the access road, be sure to get on the SMT radio repeater (channel 1 on the hand-held SMT transceivers) and ask if there is any downhill traffic on the (one lane) access road. If not, then state your intentions and carefully head up the hill. In 2 miles, the towering structure of the SMT will pop out from behind a thick coverage of trees.

 Copyright Arizona Radio Observatory.
For problems or questions regarding this web contact [tfolkers{at}email{dot}arizona{dot}edu].
Last updated: 05/18/11.