2013OCT Release Notes

2013OCT Observing Schedule Release Notes

Parkes Remote Observing: From September 15th, 2013, the default location for Parkes remote 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 a couple of working days.

All first-time remote observers also require training on the new tools and procedures. This is currently conducted, during week-day work hours, by Parkes staff, using the point-to-point video link to the SOC wherever possible. First-time remote observers are required to be available for training 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. The Parkes User Guide has been regularly updated as the transition to the remote observing era has progressed.

Observing from Parkes will be permitted for complex or non-standard observations, or in other circumstances where this is the more sensible option. Observers who have successfully observed from the SOC may carry out subsequent Parkes observations from other remote locations: all observers must observe at least once from the SOC in order to become a qualified Parkes remote observer. Currently, observers remain qualified for remote observing for a year from their last observation at the SOC (or Parkes).

If anything remains unclear, please email ATNF-Parkes-Remobs[at]csiro.au for further clarification.

Parkes Observing Support: Reductions in the Parkes Operating budget will necessarily result in a decrease in the observing support able to be provided. It is expected that proposal teams with experienced Parkes observers will become more self-sufficient, with a member of each team being designated the Project Expert and being the first point of contact (most often remotely) for questions relating to the observations after work hours. Inexperienced teams are encouraged to seek experienced collaborators: if this is not possible, the teams should be prepared to arrive several days before their observations commence in order for observer training to be completed during work hours so that a member of the team is qualified for the Project Expert role. All Parkes proposal teams are asked to nominate the member(s) in their team who will be (or will be trained to be) the Project Expert and who will be the first point of contact after hours. Local Parkes staff will continue to provide the first point of contact for matters relating to safety of on-site personnel, the telescope, and equipment.

Parkes Quarters: During the semester the Quarters will be staffed on Monday to Friday. From October 1st, the Quarters will provide accommodation and breakfast. Lunches and evening meals can be purchased from the Dish Cafe during its business hours, or alternative arrangements made.

Maintenance Periods: The 2013OCT semester schedule for Parkes has a two-week shutdown from Monday February 3rd to Friday February 14th, primarily for work on the focus cabin receiver translator.

Daylight Saving: Daylight saving in New South Wales starts at 2:00am on the first Sunday in October, Oct 6th 2013, when clocks will be put forward 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. Daylight saving in New South Wales ends at 3:00am Eastern Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April, April 6th 2014, when clocks will be put back one hour.

Public Holidays: Monday October 7th is the Labour Day public holiday. Wednesday December 25th is Christmas Day, Thursday December 26th is Boxing Day, and Friday December 27th is a Public Service Holiday. Wednesday January 1st is New Years Day public holiday. Monday January 27th is the public holiday for Australia Day.

Version history: Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2013 August 30.