APT's text proposal file (.prop file) is a flat ascii text representation of your HST Phase II Proposal. It can be exported from APT to facilitate editing of large programs in cases when the APT GUI editor is not efficient. Because of the inherent limitations of this capability, we strongly recommend not using it in place of APT GUI Editors unless your editing task truly warrants it.

Here are some questions and answers to help you decide whether the text proposal file would be useful for you:

When should I use APT's text proposal file?

There are two scenarios where the text proposal file could be particularly useful:

Where can I find the details of this syntax?

The best way to discover proper text proposal syntax is to create a small test proposal in the APT GUI and export it.

The text proposal syntax has been added to the Phase II Proposal Instructions for reference. It is set apart in brown text. For an example look in section 6.1 for the "Additional Rules and Conventions for the Text Proposal File".

One potentially confusing difference between the text proposal structure and the APT proposal structure is the way exposure groups are represented (e.g. parallels,patterns and non-interruptible exposure sequences).

Isn't this the same syntax as RPS2?

It is very similar to the RPS2 syntax that was used for Phase II Proposal writing in Cycles 5-11. But that is not to say you can simply import a Cycle 11 proposal. If you need to update a script that writes out a .prop file please note the following major differences:

What is lost when you convert to the text proposal file?

All necessary Phase II proposal information is retained when you export your proposal. But for completeness please note the following things which will be not be retained:

When should I export without the sub-exposure information?

The sub-exposure information contains the orbit numbers (usually assigned by the Orbit Planner) and any actual durations (usually set by using the auto-adjust function) that have been assigned. If you have not run the Orbit Planner (in which case these values will be blank), or if you are planning to move or copy individual exposure in the text file, it is best to export without the sub-exposure information. However, be aware that any sub-exposure information in the proposal (such as for visits with completed processing) will be lost on export.

What are the known limitations?

How do I use the text proposal file?

What happens if I make a mistake in the .prop file?

There are two different classes of errors you will get in APT as a result of importing a flawed text proposal:

Last modified: May 14, 2013.