Subject: APO 3.5m returning to science ops

From: elt@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 16:56:31 -0500 (EST)

Message number: 400 (previous: 399, next: 401 up: Index)

With some weather related interuptions, the 3.5m has now been on
the sky for two nights of engineering/re-commissioning observations.
At *least* two more nights of pointing model generation, alignments,
instrument block determinations etc. are required before we can
again commence science operations.  

At this writing (12/15), it appears marginally possible to accomplish
all these tasks during the next two nights and begin science ops on
Friday night, 17 December, as per the plan announced on 1 December
(apo35-general message #397).  However and probably more likely, if there
are any glitches or if any time is lost to weather (forecast is "partly
cloudy"), a slight delay beyond the beginning of the night on the 17th
will be required.  Unless unexpected and serious problems are encountered,
science operations should resume during the coming weekend in any case.

Thus, the PIs and observers scheduled for 17-19 December inclusive (copied
directly on this message) should be prepared to carry out their
observations and should closely monitor the situation to determine exactly
when/whether they will be able to use the telescope.  The assistance of
Users Cmte members and institutional schedulers is requested in making
sure that all directly affected users are notified of this situation.

There will be one operational limitation imposed on early operation of the
telescope following this shutdown.  Namely, if the secondary or tertiary
runs away, becomes lost or otherwise needs to be re-homed and there are
not two people available (usually the case in the second half of the night)
to carry out this procedure, operations will be suspended for the remainder
of the night, and recovery will be carried out the next day.  It is expected
that this will be a temporary restriction.

Finally, let me again note that many long hours and enormous hard work have
been required to get the telescope back on the sky and that we all owe thanks
to those who have "gone the extra mile" to accomplish this goal.

Ed Turner

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