Director’s Discretionary Time

At present, there are 15 to 20 hours of telescope time per semester available for Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT) programs. Programs wishing to apply for DDT can be submitted at any time, but they must abide by the following rules:

  1. DDT proposals should be targeted for any compelling relatively short observations which have potential for an immediate high impact result, i.e. a paper.
  2. DDT observations should ideally stand on their own, in terms of producing a compelling science result, rather than just being part of the longer term program (active or planned), though “proof-of- concept” pilot programs that inform larger regular proposals may be considered.
  3. There should be good reasons for DDT observations to be done quickly, rather than being held over until the next proposal period (e.g. compelling ToO or opportunity of a quick high profile result) .
  4. Free format DDT proposals need to be sufficiently motivated through a concise scientific justification and an observing plan should be sent to The proposals will be checked by the SAAO Director Petri Vaisanen and Head of SALT Astronomy Operations Encarni Romero Colmenero;  please also cc the proposal to these two individuals.
  5. DDT proposals can also be submitted directly using a PIPT Phase 2 form (tick box for DDT) with the target, instrument configuration and observation details, though an additional brief email to the two individuals above and the ddt address should also be sent.
  6. All DDT observations with a SALT partner as PI or co-I become available to the entire SALT community within 6 months of them being taken. DDT observations from proposals with no SALT partner investigators become available to the entire SALT community immediately. In such a case, the head of SALT Astronomy Operations will inform members of the SALT Board by email within 1 week of the observations being taken.
  7. Any DDT observations undertaken must be expeditiously analyzed and the results of the program written up in a short report sent to the head of SALT Astronomy Operations within 3 months of obtaining the observations. This report will be made available to all partners. For positive science results, it is expected that the observations will lead to a quick scientific publication.