2016APR Release Notes

2016APR Observing Schedule Release Notes

Parkes Schedule: The first release of the Parkes schedule for 2016APR covers the period from 1 April 2016 to 22 May 2016. The 20-cm multi-beam receiver was removed from the focus cabin in early February, and the Bonn Phased Array Feed (PAF) has been installed. As testing and commissioning has only just started, it is premature to schedule any of the projects which require use of the PAF. The first 7 weeks of the 2016APR semester has regular allocations of time to PAF testing, and it is anticipated these will initially be used for testing front-end and back-end hardware and software and developing procedures for beam-forming and calibrating the PAF. As observing modes are established, some of the PAF testing time may be used for the TAC approved projects for scientific observing with the PAF.

The second release makes adjustments to the week of 16 May 2016 and extends the schedule to 1 August 2016. A prototype next-generation PAF will be installed on 16 May for three days of testing in the focus cabin, before being removed on 19 May. Scientific observing with the Bonn PAF is scheduled from May 25th, though this is still dependent on on-going commissioning and testing activities.

The third release extends the schedule to 1 September 2016. An issue with the Master Equatorial of the telescope may result in adjustment to this schedule being required.

The fourth release extends the schedule to 30 September 2016.

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.

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. Similar support will now be provided by Astro or Operations staff for observers at the SOC. 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: For observing from the SOC, the Marsfield site has a Lodge which provides accommodation for observers. Please use this webform to book at least two weeks in advance to ensure a room is available.

NAPA Proposals: One NAPA (Non A Priori Assignable) proposal has been submitted for Parkes in 2015OCT. If triggered, a NAPA proposal may displace a proposal with a lower grade.

Daylight Saving: Daylight saving in New South Wales will end at 3:00am (AEDT) on Sunday, 3rd April 2016, when clocks will be put back one hour. During the daylight saving period, local "clock time" (AEDT) is one hour ahead of AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time), so 7am AEST is 8am AEDT. Note that the ATCA schedule is in AEST. Daylight saving in New South Wales will start again on the first Sunday in October.

Public Holidays: Monday April 25th is the ANZAC Day public holiday in Australia. Monday June 13th is the Queen's Birthday public holiday in NSW.

Version history: Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2016 February 29. Version 2 of the schedule was released on 2016 April 29. Version 3 of the schedule was released on 2016 July 5. Version 4 of the schedule was released on 2016 August 23.

Updated: Phil Edwards (23-aug-2016)