Receivers: From April 30th to May 18th there will be a shutdown for planned maintenance (multibeam vacuum regeneration, Master Equatorial and receiver translator investigations). 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') during the May shutdown. The UWL will come off for the 2 VLBI weeks (in July and September) to be replaced with high frequency receivers.
Backends: The DFB4 continues to be available, as does BPSR/HIPSR. A new GPU cluster based system ('MEDUSA') is under development and intended for use with the UWL once operational.
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 2018APR semester this equates to 750hrs, plus approximately 80hrs of make up time for technical issues last semester.
FAST: An additional agreement has been made with a collaboration associated with the Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) for approximately 400 hrs per semester for 3 years, identified as PX500 and PX501.
Parkes Observing PORTAL: Parkes observers need to register for their upcoming observations, ideally at least two weeks in advance, using the PORTAL. Access to the PORTAL requires CSIRO unix or nexus account details: for users who do not have an account, account generation typically takes several working days.
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. Teams with no member suitable to be the Project Expert for that project should send an observer to the Science Operations Centre (SOC) in Marsfield in advance of the scheduled observing to be trained by ATNF Science staff. The Project Expert is expected to be capable of basic fault diagnosis/triage, and if not they will need to attend the SOC in person for training prior to future observations.
First-time observers will be required to undertake a telescope orientation session to introduce them to observing systems and monitoring tools. 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 'Help' and 'Links' tabs 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. 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.
If anything remains unclear, please email ATNF-Parkes-Remobs[at]csiro.au or further clarification.
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI): Where possible notifications of expected RFI will be posted on the PORTAL Alerts. Other listings of known RFI are given on the Parkes observers pages.
Green Time: Green time should be requested through the Portal. Instructions for doing this can be found in the "Book" tab in the Portal. Requests for green time can be made at any time during the semester, but the final allocation will not be made until ~1 week beforehand. Please also email Jimi Green (James.Green@csiro.au) with a summary of what you are requesting to observe.
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 end at 3:00am (AEDT) on Sunday, 1st April 2018, when clocks will be put back one hour. AEST is 10 hours ahead of UTC. Daylight saving in New South Wales will begin at 2:00am (AEST) on the first Sunday in October 2018.
Public Holidays: Sunday/Monday April 1/2 are public holidays throughout Australia, for Easter Sunday and Monday. Wednesday April 25 is an Australian public holiday for Anzac Day. Monday June 11 is a NSW public holiday for the Queen's Birthday.
Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2018 March 1st.