Parkes Quarters: From 2012 October 1st, some changes are being introduced to the operations of the Parkes Quarters. From this date the Quarters will be staffed on Monday to Friday. As the staffing level is being reduced, from 1 October the Quarters will provide accommodation, breakfast and evening meals but will no longer provide lunches. Lunches for observers, Parkes Observatory staff, and other visitors will be available from the Dish Cafe at reasonable rates.
Parkes Remote Observing: Over the last two years considerable effort has been made towards the upgrading and development of the Parkes telescope for future remote observing. The upgrades include the installation of a RF switching matrix, the replacement of the manual control panel (MCP), and improvements to the backup power supplies. Initial trials of remote observing with the Parkes telescope are being carried out from Marsfield in the 2012APR semester and these will continue into the 2012OCT semester. In 2012OCT semester, remote observing will initially be offered to experienced observers from Marsfield, and then extended to other Australian institutions. The timescale for this transition has not been finalised: for the first month of the October semester (i.e., October), observers should plan to observe on site at the Parkes Observatory.
On-site observers are reminded of the need for both a "licensed operator" and a "designated contact person (DCP)" to be present on site during observations. If only a single member of a proposal team is planning to be on site for observations, it is their responsibility to ensure someone else is available to act as their DCP.
Maintenance Periods: The 2012OCT semester schedule for Parkes has several maintenance blocks that extend overnight: October 9th and 10th, December 4th to 6th, and February 4th to 6th. These are to allow work on the site HV power supply, amongst other things.
Daylight Saving: Daylight Saving will begin again in New South Wales on Sunday October 7th at 2:00am, when clocks will be put forward one hour. Daylight saving in New South Wales ends at 3:00am Eastern Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April, when clocks will be put back one hour. The Parkes observing schedule schedule is in AEST. During the daylight saving period, local "clock time" is one hour ahead of AEST, so 7am AEST is 8am daylight saving time.
Public Holidays: Monday October 1st is a public holiday in New South Wales (Labour Day). Tuesday December 25th (Christmas Day) and Wednesday December 26th (Boxing Day) are public holidays, and Thursday December 27th is a public service holiday (which includes all CSIRO staff). Tuesday January 1st is the New Year's Day public holiday. Monday January 28th is a public holiday for Australia Day (which falls on Saturday 26th). The Easter long weekend runs from Friday March 29th to Monday April 1st: Good Friday (March 29th) and Easter Monday (April 1st) are public holidays.
Version history: Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2012 August 31.