Once implemented on CFHT in 2017, SPIRou is expected to be used very extensively by the astronomical community at large over the following decade – supporting in particular several future key space missions such as TESS, JWST and PLATO
The amount of observing time that SPIRou will require to carry out its two main science programmes is quite large – of order 1,500 telescope nights. This implies that SPIRou will typically collect observations for one full decade (if used half time on the telescope) – supporting in particular several future key space missions such as TESS (planned for 2017), JWST (2018) and PLATO (2024).
It also means that SPIRou only makes sense if coupled to a large survey of at least 500 telescope nights over 5 years, fully dedicated to the 2 main science goals and launched simultaneously with the implementation of the instrument on CFHT; this survey, called the SPIRou Legacy Survey, is also intended to provide the community with an extensive, homogenous, well characterized, and high-quality database having the potential for a wide range of long-lasting scientific applications.
All other observations will be carried out either in the form of normal programs, submitted each semester to the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) by a Principal Investigator (PI) and called PI programs, or of longer-term larger-size Large Programs when the body of observations that this program needs to secure is significantly larger than those of PI programs and spread out on several consecutive semesters. PI and Large Programs on SPIRou are expected to request of order 1,000 nights over the decade following the implementation of the instrument on CFHT. A description of most science programs that SPIRou will be able to carry out (mainly for scientists) is available in the following document :