Planning is underway for the future of SDSS in its next phase, to begin in 2020 after the end of SDSS-IV. This program (“After SDSS-IV” or AS4) plans to operate SDSS facilities at Apache Point Observatory and Las Campanas Observatory, to survey the entire sky, mapping the Milky Way using rapid, wide field, repeated observations, mapping Local Volume galaxies using wide integral field spectroscopy, and mapping black holes using time domain spectroscopy of quasars.

This program is currently under development and seeking funding from foundation and institutional partners. Institutional partners benefit from early access to data, participation the survey planning process, and through involvement of its faculty, postdocs, and students in the science collaboration. Policies for joining the program can be found in the Joining Document, and special policies for those joining both AS4 and SDSS-IV can be found in the Joint AS4 and SDSS-IV Membership Document.

The program was developed through a two-year planning process, beginning with the solicitation of white papers in 2015, letters of intent in early 2016, and culminating in full proposals near the end of 2016. A Steering Committee and a set of external reviewers evaluated the proposals and submitted its Report & Recommendations to the ARC Board, which accepted these recommendations.

The project is led by Director Juna A. Kollmeier (Carnegie Observatories) and Project Scientist Hans-Walter Rix (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie), with support from their Management Committee and an AS4 Steering Committee.