Subject: Minutes of User's Committee Meeting, September 8

From: strauss@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 16:13:51 -0400 (EDT)

Message number: 166 (previous: 165, next: 167 up: Index)

   Minutes of APO 3.5m User's Committee Phone Conference
		  Monday, September 8, 1997

Attending: Rene Walterbos, Bruce Gillespie, Ed Turner (Chair),
Michael Strauss (taking minutes), Chris Stubbs, Alan Uomoto, Jeff

Absent: Ed Kibblewhite

This was a brief meeting; with the community workshop to be held at
APO at the end of next week, we did not discuss some items in detail. 

  Status report on current shutdown
  How to schedule shutdowns
  Agenda for community meeting
  Funds for 3-year plans
  Half vs. Whole nights
  Progress on DIS
*****************Status report on current shutdown.
  The repairs are keeping on schedule, modulo a bit of a slowdown with
everyone on the mountain catching colds. 
  Mark Klaene has done a test washing of tertiary.  He has put
together a cleaning procedure.  Cleaning improved reflectivity by
2-3%, but added some fine scratches.  So the tertiary will be
realuminized at Sunspot this week.

  Installation of new ventilation tube system for 3.5m primary 
is in progress.  The
loosening of these tubes is an issue for 2.5m primary as well!

  Users now have direct software control (from a Unix window) over the
arc lamps.  Wonderful!

  Work has also happened on drives, should cure many of the
oscillation problems. 
  Also problems fixed in rotator, to fix some of the rotator stalls. 
More details at the community workshop. 

*****************How to schedule shutdowns
  At our last meeting, we discussed various alternatives.  Ed Turner
posted a synthesis of the discussion, and a proposed policy, on
apo35-general #160.  In brief: Let shutdowns fall as they may (like
rain), but insitutions could ask for time assigned explicitly to the
institution, to schedule themselves, guaranteed free of shutdown.
No-one took advantage of this for the fourth quarter (although not all
institutional schedulers/TAC members subscribe to apo35-general; they

*****************Agenda for the Community Meeting
  Will be distributed to apo35-general at the end of the week by Rene
Walterbos.  There may be some local media presence.  Some of the
Sunspot staff may also attend.

*****************Funds for 3-year plans
  There is an imminent budget crunch on 3-year plan: the secondary is
getting more expensive than originally budgetted (mounting cell,
polishing charges, etc., are higher than we hoped).  A shortfall of
substantial size is likely.  Still working on options.  Will be discussed
at the Community Meeting.

****************Half vs. whole nights
  Uomoto: Splitting the nights in half makes some programs difficult,
with calibrations.  However, people can always explicitly ask for full
nights in proposal, although not everyone may be aware of this.  We
should discuss how to maximize efficiency.  Should half-nights or
whole nights be the default?  Perhaps half nights are sensible during
long winter nights but not during short summer ones; we could have a
different default during different parts of the year.

  We are finding ourselves drifting back to "ordinary" scheduling of
other telescope.  Why is this?  Stubbs: Because basic promise of this
telescope (especially 5-minute instrument changes, efficient
calibration) are not in place!  Let's get 3-year plan in place. 

****************DIS progress
  Rene Walterbos is talking to Lick Observatory about getting chips
from them.  They may have chips available for us, which we should
propose for.  We will discuss this further at the meeting.

Uomoto: New 1.6" and 1.9" air slits are in place, with clean stainless-steel
surfaces.  We may want to get 3" or 4" slit as well, for use in
high-res mode. 
The new medium resolution blue grating is in pipeline.
Thee medium res red grating we wanted is not available.  Alan is
looking at various alternatives. 

  Last meeting minutes are approved. 

  Next meeting is Monday, October 27, 1997. 12:30 EDT
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