Subject: New template for 3.5m scheduling requests

From: elt@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 16:07:33 -0500 (EST)

Message number: 419 (previous: 418, next: 420 up: Index)

The attached new template and instructions for 3.5m scheduling requests
should be used for 2Q2000 requests if possible and will be required for
all 3Q2000 and beyond requests.  The changes from the previous version
involve only the specification of required DIS gratings, slit masks, filters
for imaging instruments and so forth.  Special attention is called to the
implications of requesting two DIS gratings as described in the instructions
for the template.

Also please note that the requests submitted via these templates is now
processed by software to produce the web and postscript versions of the
observing schedule.  Failure to fill them out properly and consistently
can cause this system to crash (thus delaying the appearance of the
schedule) or produce erroneous results.  Institutional schedulers should
proof read the templates provided by PIs to make sure that they are
correctly and completely filled out.

Ed Turner



The first item is a blank ascii template which should be filled out for each
program granted time.  The second is some general instructions, and the third
gives more detailed instructions to standardize use of the various items
in the template.

















A few explanatory notes follow:

0) IMPORTANT NOTE - PLEASE READ!: Any material included on the above
   form when it is submitted for scheduling WILL APPEAR VERBATIM ON
   A PUBLICALLY ACCESSIBLE WEB SITE.  If you wish for your TAC to
   consider information that you want kept confidential or restricted
   in any way, it should be submitted to them separately (from the
   above form) or you should arrange to have it removed before
   submission for scheduling.  If you feel it is important for the
   3.5-meter Director and/or APO staff to also have access to such
   confidential/restricted information, you must make special and
   separate arrangements with them; simply identifying such material
   on the template scheduling request will be ineffective.

1) The PI is considered to be responsible for the productive use of
   the observing time and the safe use of the equipment.  If the PI is
   not a member of the faculty or senior research staff, such an individual
   should be identified as a "sponsor" (and therefore responsible in the
   above sense).  This is a general APO policy.

2) List all observers.  Remote observing may only be undertaken by,
   or with the direct help/supervision of, observers with on-site
   experience and training.  Normally, this is taken to be at least
   3 nights of time at APO.  At the site, some help for experienced
   observers can be provided by the Observatory staff but training
   of graduate students or other inexperienced observers is not
   available; it is the responsibility of ARC institution faculty and
   staff.  See message #219 in the apo35-general archive at the URL
   for a detailed statement of the policy.

3) For programs carried out remotely, list all observers who are *not*
   certified for remote operations and state plans for the participation
   of certified remote observers for all remote observing.  For programs
   which will be carried out on-site, list all observers who are
   untrained/inexperienced and state plans for providing the necessary
   supervision and instruction.  See point #2 immediately above for
   further details.

4) List all project scientific collaborators and include their
   institutional affiliation if not from an ARC institution.

5) Indicate whether the time you request is bright, grey or dark or some
   mixture.  Dark is moon below the horizon; grey is moon up but less than
   50% phase, and bright is moon up and greater than 50% phase.  It is helpful
   if you indicate the least restrictive (most moon) conditions which you
   can use without serious impact on your data.  If omitted, you will probably
   be given whatever fits most conveniently into the schedule, probably bright

6) Telescope time will be scheduled in half night blocks (split at APO
   solar midnight) for most programs, and time should be requested in
   these units in most cases.  Scheduling of smaller blocks of time
   is also routinely accommodated when there is a scientific need.
   Such programs should request time in units of hours and should clearly
   state the need for smaller blocks under the OBSERVING SCHEDULE

7) Scheduled science operations must sometimes be canceled for engineering
   or other purposes.  In some cases Observatory management has limited
   discretion in the scheduling of such closures.  If there are any reasons
   that a program deserves special or unusual protection (which, of course,
   is not always possible) from such interruptions, please state them clearly
   in the "special protection justification" section.

8) The science justification need be no more than a paragraph or two. It is
   only intended to give readers an idea of what you are doing and how for
   scheduling purposes.  Of course, if your institution uses this same form
   to allocate time, your TAC may require a more detailed justification.
   It is also useful to give enough information to allow the personnel at
   the site to appreciate any subtleties of the demands your program will
   place on the telescope or instrument(s).  Similarly, the item requesting
   information on publications based on 3.5m observations will be used by
   the Observatory only to keep a record of the telescope's scientific
   contributions.  Institutional TACs might use the information in allocation
   decisions if they wish.


In order to make the job of preparing our monthly requests easier
and quicker, please observe the following instructions.


ID NUMBER: leave this blank

DESCRIPTIVE TITLE: (but not extremely long)

PI: one PI only, this name will appear on the 3.5m schedule; if the PI is
    not a member of the faculty or senior research staff, please also
    indicate who is sponsoring the proposal

OBSERVER(S): additional observers; it is assumed that the PI will also
	     participate in the observations unless it is explicitly
	     indicated otherwise

UNCERTIFIED/UNTRAINED OBSERVERS: remote observers who are not certified for
				 remote operations or on-site observers in
				 need of training/supervision should be
				 listed here, along with plans for satisfying
				 the 3.5m policy described in apo35-general
				 message #219 and point #3 above

COLLABORATORS: additional scientific collaborators; it is assumed that the PI
	       and the observers listed will also be scientific collaborators
	       unless explicitly indicated

CONTACT INFORMATION: email address(es) and phone number(s) of at least
		     the PI and principal observers; this information
		     will be used, for example, if last minute technical
		     problems or questions arise at the site.

HALF NIGHTS OR HOURS REQUESTED: please use units of hours or half nights;
		 please specify on or the other explicitly.  also please
		 indicate whether you need dark, grey or bright time
		 or some combination.  do *not* put any other information
		 in this item, such as how you want the time broken up into
		 different nights, what part of the night you want, etc.

INSTRUMENT: just say which instrument(s); no details of internal instrument
	    modes or why you need a particular instrument are needed here
PRIMARY DIS GRATING: if using DIS, indicate the grating you most need to use
SECONDARY DIS GRATING (IF REQUIRED): if you need to use a second DIS grating,
				     indicate it here.  since only 2 of the
				     3 available gratings can be mounted for
				     any given night, programs requiring a
				     second grating are significantly more
				     difficult to schedule.  please only
				     indicate a second grating if you are
				     quite likely to use it, and then be
				     sure to indicate whether or not this
				     is a soft or hard requirement (and why)
				     below.  note that low TAC priority
				     programs with a hard requirement for
				     two gratings may not be scheduled at all.
SLITS/FILTERS/ETC NEEDED: list DIS slit masks needed and filters for any
			  imaging instrument.

OBSERVING MODE: this does *not* mean instrument mode; it means "remote" or
		"on-site" or "training" again with no particular justification
		needed.  do keep in mind that you should have "on-site"
		experience, preferably with the instrument in question, before
		you can use it remotely.  "training" means going to the site
		with an experienced observer/user.

OBSERVING SCHEDULE CONSTRAINTS: this is the place to indicate how you need
				the time scheduled for astronomical or
				scientific reasons. the most obvious such
				constraint is that the target object(s)
				should be well placed in the sky but many
				others are also possible.  please state
				BOTH the reasons for the restrictions AND
				explicitly list those dates/times which
				will satisfy them.  preferred, acceptable
				and unusable dates/times would be useful.
				in other words, please do not leave it as
				an exercise for the scheduler to determine,
				say, what dates/times have M31 at least 45
				deg above the horizon for a minimum of 3
				hours during dark or grey time at either the
				beginning or end of the night, and also
				please do not leave the scheduler guessing
				why you need to, say, observe jupiter on
				either october 7-11 or november 10-12.
				in addition, please make sure that what you
				request is physically possible; for example,
				don't request dark hours and then specify
				dates/times which are bright.  in order to
				expedite the cumbersome chore of scheduling,
				inconsistent requests MAY simply be dropped
				without further consultation or recourse.
				also, if you have an explicit scientific
				reason to prefer whole or split nights,
				note it under this item.  *at minimum* you
				should give the coordinates or coordinate
				ranges of your targets here and indicate which
				nights and times you consider optimal, even
				if "any time" will do.  in many requests,
				this will be the longest and most complex
				entry.  if you request observing times in
				blocks smaller than hours, please give
				the explanation in this section.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: this is the place to indicate scheduling constraints
		      which are not directly related to the sky or the 
		      science to be done, e.g., "i will be out of the country
		      nov 1-12", "not on tuesday nights due to early wed am
		      lectures", or "hot date next sat night".  any other
		      sorts of special needs, such as housing on site for
		      a large observing group or use of your own instrument
		      would also go under this item.

SPECIAL PROTECTION JUSTIFICATION: please list any special reasons (e.g., a
				  time critical occultation, last data needed
				  to finish a thesis) that the program should
				  be protected from unscheduled closures
				  (for engineering or other purposes) when

BRIEF SCIENCE JUSTIFICATION: this will be used to help schedulers understand
			     why you need what you request and to help those
			     working at the site to better understand your
			     two or three hundred words should be
			     plenty for any but the most complex programs.
			     distribution of these forms to each ARC
			     institution also allows your colleagues elsewhere
			     to see what you are up to.

PUBLICATIONS BASED ON APO 3.5m DATA: list all publications during the past
				     three years which were based in
				     significant part on data obtained with 
				     the 3.5m telescope.  submitted and "in
				     press" papers may be included, but
				     please do not list papers "in


APO APO APO APO APO  Apache Point Observatory 3.5m  APO APO APO
APO  This is message 419 in the apo35-general archive. You can find
APO  the archive on
APO  To join/leave the list, send mail to
APO  To post a message, mail it to