NIRCam APT Templates

A JWST observing program that uses the NIRCam instrument is designed by using the one of the NIRCam templates in the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT).

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NIRCam offers 5 observing modes: imaging, coronagraphic imaging, time-series imaging, grism time series, and wide field slitless spectroscopy. Each mode has its own APT template.

Step-by-step in APT

The step-by-step instructions for using the NIRCam observing templates in the APT are provided in the following articles:

Additional information on all available options and restrictions for NIRCam templates are available in NIRCam Templates articles at the Proposal Parameters Documentation outside JDox.

NIRCam templates and observing capabilities

Table 1. Summary of NIRCam APT templates and observing capabilities

Available FeaturesImagingCoronagraphic imagingTime-series imagingGrism time seriesWide field slitless spectroscopy

DitheringHighly RecommendedOptional

Highly Recommended

Coronagraphs available
occulting masks and Lyot stops

Weak lens available (0.6–2.3 µm)

Grisms available (2.4–5.0 µm)

Grism RGrism C, R
Exposures longer than 10,000 seconds


* Warning: the high gain antenna may move during exposures longer than 10,000 seconds.

Creating an APT observation

Words in bold are GUI menus/
panels or data software packages; 
bold italics are buttons in GUI
tools or package parameters.

To create a new NIRCam observation, create or choose an Observation Folder in the tree editor and click Add in the active GUI window. This will add a generic observation to the folder and open an observation form. The observation can be assigned a unique number and a text label (which does not need to be unique). Select NIRCam from the Instrument drop-down parameter field. This populates the Template drop-down field with the NIRCam templates; select one of them to continue working on the specifics of the observation.

Notable updates
Originally published