Receivers: From November 7th to November 22nd there will be a shutdown for planned maintenance (Zenith Gearbox Lubrication System upgrade, and Multibeam Receiver Vacuum Regeneration). There will be no observing during this shutdown. The 20cm multi-beam receiver (MB20) and the 10-50 receiver will be on the telescope for the start of the semester, with the 10-50 to be replaced by the new Ultra-WideBand receiver (previously referred to as 'UWB' now officially designated 'UWL' for 'Ultra-Wideband Low') in November, progress allowing. The UWL will come off for the 2 VLBI weeks (in February and March).
Breakthrough Listen: The agreement between the Breakthrough Foundation and CSIRO to use the Parkes Telescope to Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) continues. The Breakthrough Listen program will be allocated 25% of Parkes observing time for five years commencing in 2016OCT. For the 2017OCT semester this equates to 750hrs, plus approximately 70hrs of make up time for technical issues last semester.
Parkes Observing: The default location for Parkes observing is the Science Operations Centre (SOC) in Marsfield (Sydney). Parkes observers need to register for their upcoming observations, at least two weeks in advance, using the PORTAL at https://parkes-ops.atnf.csiro.au/PORTAL/index.php . Access to the portal requires CSIRO unix account details: for users who do not have an account, there is a link from the PORTAL front page to information for requesting an account. Account generation typically takes several working days. The portal will be upgraded to a new version soon, and these notes will be updated to reflect this accordingly.
Parkes Observing Support: Each Parkes project is required to designate a Project Expert from within the team who is the first point of contact for observing support for that team. Observers at the Science Operations Centre (SOC) will be provided with a "Friend" who will be the first point of contact during business hours. Teams with no member suitable to be the Project Expert for that project should send an observer to the SOC in advance of the scheduled observing to be trained by a combination of Operations staff and a local Friend. The Project Expert is expected to be capable of basic fault diagnosis/triage. In cases where the Project Expert is inadequately experienced, in the opinion of the Head of Science Operations, the team will be required to designate an alternate Project Expert, or for the Project Expert to attend the SOC in person for training prior to future observations.
First-time observers will be required to come to the SOC, and will be provided a telescope orientation session to introduce them to observing systems and monitoring tools. First-time observers must arrive at the SOC at least a full business day prior to their scheduled observations to ensure a time can be arranged for training. When first-time remote observers register their upcoming observing session(s) on the PORTAL they are sent links to on-line documentation and training material to help them prepare. It is a requirement that the on-line documentation is read before the training session. A list of the essential documents is given on the Documentation tab of the portal.
Observers may choose to observe from the SOC at any time, and will be given a refresher or training session on request. The requirement for observers to return to the SOC annually has been dispensed with: responsibility lies with the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure the observers on their team are trained and competent observers. Observing from Parkes will be permitted for complex or non-standard observations, or in other circumstances where this is the more sensible option. These requirements may be revised if there is a substantial change in the observing set-up (for example, installation of a new front-end or back-end system).
If anything remains unclear, please email ATNF-Parkes-Remobs[at]csiro.au for further clarification.
Marsfield On-site Accommodation: The Marsfield site has a Lodge which is able to provide on-site accommodation for observers and DAs. Please use the new webform to book at least two weeks in advance to ensure a room is available.
Daylight Saving: Daylight saving in New South Wales will start at 2:00am (AEST) on Sunday, 1st October 2017, when clocks will be put forward one hour. Local time will then be AEDT. Note that the Parkes schedule is in AEST.
Public Holidays: Labour day (02/10), Christmas break (25-26/12), New Years Day (01/01), Australia Day (26/01) and Good Friday (30/03).
Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2017 September 1st.
Version 2 of the schedule was released on 2017 November 7th.