2015OCT Release Notes

2015OCT Observing Schedule Release Notes

Parkes Schedule: As outlined in the call for proposals, the 20-cm multi-beam receiver will be removed from the focus cabin for an extended period in the 2015OCT semester to allow the testing and characterising of a Phased Array Feed (PAF) receiver. As there was some uncertainty over the timescale for this activity, the first release of the schedule only covers the period from Oct 1st to Dec 24th. The schedule for the remainder of the semester (v3) was released on Dec 16th.

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 starts at 2:00am (AEST) on the first Sunday in October, October 4th 2015, when clocks will be put forward one hour. During the daylight saving period, local "clock time" is one hour ahead of AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time), so 7am AEST is 8am AEDT. Note that the ATCA schedule is in AEST, so the for most of the 2015OCT semester, local time (AEDT) is one hour later than AEST. Daylight saving in New South Wales ends on the first Sunday in April, April 3rd 2016 at 3:00am (AEDT) when clocks will be put back one hour.

Public Holidays: Monday October 5th is the Labour Day public holiday in NSW. Friday December 25th is Christmas Day, a public holiday. Monday December 28th is a public holiday as Boxing Day (December 26th) falls on a weekend. Tuesday January 26th is the Australia Day public holiday. Friday March 25th is the Easter Good Friday public holiday, and Monday March 28th is Easter Monday public holiday.

Version history: Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2015 September 1. Version 2 was an interim planning version which was not released. Version 3 of the schedule was released on 2015 December 16.

Updated: Phil Edwards (16-dec-2015)
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