Subject: Information about APO 3.5m GRB program

From: Suzanne Hawley

Submitted: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 09:48:04 -0700 (PDT)

Message number: 897 (previous: 896, next: 898 up: Index)

This message serves to notify the APO 3.5m users community that there is 
an approved GRB target of opportunity program during Q2 2005, and that 
regularly scheduled observing, except that identified explicitly as time 
critical, may be pre-empted at any time for GRB observations.  The 
Observing Specialists will carry out the GRB data acquisition, but the 
pre-empts will be authorized on a case-by-case basis by observatory 
management.  Thus, we ask that any questions or concerns be directed to 
Suzanne Hawley (ARC 3.5m Director) and Bruce Gillespie (APO Site 
Operations Manager), and not to the Observing Specialists.

As many of you may be aware, there has been for some time a program of GRB 
followup observations on the 3.5m.  Recently this program has become more 
active due to the launch of Swift and anticipation of significantly more 
GRB alerts, predicted to be as many as several per month.  Four of the six 
ARC institutions are now involved in quite a large GRB followup effort. 
Because of the increased level of participation and anticipated increased 
number of target-of-opportunity observations, we have been carrying out 
extensive discussions in the Users Committee and among the ARC-GRB group 
to put together a program that maximizes the science return while 
mitigating as much as possible the inconvenience to regularly scheduled 
3.5m observers.  (Users are encouraged to refer to the minutes of the 
Users Committee meetings for more information about these and other 
developments at the site.)  The result of these discussions is a document 
describing both the GRB science effort and the plans for alerts, 
pre-empting of scheduled observers, and recompense to the observers.  The 
Users and Futures Committee members at each institution have copies of the 
document and are charged with actively soliciting feedback on the program. 
We do not intend to make the document public or post it on the web, so 
please contact your representatives to obtain a copy.  FYI, the reps are:

Institution - Users Committee, Futures Committee
Princeton - Michael Strauss, Ed Turner
Chicago - Al Harper, Josh Frieman
Colorado - John Bally, John Stocke
Washington - Bruce Balick, Scott Anderson
Johns Hopkins - Karl Glazebrook, Tim Heckman
New Mexico State - Jon Holtzman (for both)

Please familiarize yourself with the plans, provide feedback to your 
representatives, and bear with us as we gain experience with the 
administration of the program.  As described in the document, we will 
review the program at the end of each quarter to assess both the 
scientific return and the effect on the scheduled users.

Suzanne Hawley

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