Subject: notes from Oct 14 3.5m Users Committee meeting.

From: Chris Stubbs

Submitted: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 11:53:17 -0700

Message number: 98 (previous: 97, next: 99 up: Index)

3.5m Users Committee Meeting Oct 14, 1996.

Users Committee, plus Ed Kibblewhite and Roger Hildebrand.
                 minus M. Strauss.

Echelle Report:

After much redesign, the fabrication and assembly of the Echelle
spectrograph is nearing completion.  The assembly should be
finished at the end of the calendar year, if all goes well.
Following a shakedown in the laboratory, the best-case
arrival at the telescope is around March 1997.  The instrument
will not be integrated into Remard until some time later.

The most optimistic date for the instrument being scheduled 
on the telescope is July-Sept 1997.

*Action Items:

1. A summary document of anticipated performance will be circulated, 

2. We should try to identify someone to serve as instrument scientist.

Discussion of draft 3 year plan:

Document is available on the web, all are encouraged to 
read and comment on it.  The goal is to document the objectives
and to set forth a plan of attack, for presentation to the 
Board, along with cost estimates.  There was a general discussion 
of the scope of the document, and the target date for completion 
is the end of October.

*Action Items:

1. E. Turner will write an opening section, setting out the 
broad objectives of the facility.

2. We should try as much as possible to identify teams
within ARC that are willing to take the lead in the various
outstanding tasks.

3. A. Uomoto, B. Gillespie and C. Stubbs to generate a timeline.

WSMR use of 3.5m:

E. Turner presented a brief overview of the current situation:
WSMR has an MOU with us that provides for "non-interference" use
of the facility, with reimbursement of our costs on a break-even
basis, not to exceed 10% of the effort at the site.  We do pay
an opportunity cost, in terms of manpower-limited tasks.

The WSMR team is asking to use the telescope for occasional second
half-nights, in order to adequately prepare for dawn observing.
There will only be about 1 week advance warning.  E. Turner 
proposes that we strike a deal with WSMR along the following lines:

- We require a minimum notice of (TBD) days.

- We notify the assigned observer that they are being pre-empted.

- We count the lost time as a full half-night.

- WSMR reimburse the 3.5m at triple the operating cost, approx $4500/night

- Notice of (TBD) minimum in order to not incur full costs to them.

- We cap the total use by WSMR at (TBD), per month or quarter.

There was some discussion of this, and the Committee was in broad
agreement with the objectives, particularly in light of the financial
demands of the 3 year plan.

Stubbs outlined boundary conditions he thought appropriate, including:

- We identify an astronomer to act as liason with the WSMR effort.

- We attempt to compensate the individual scientists who lose
time, perhaps using Director's discretionary time.

- The reimbursement be specifically identified as funding remedial
work on the telescope, and not go towards the baseline operating costs.

The path forward is for E. Turner to circulate a proposed plan to the
Users Committee, then pass it on to the Board for action.

SLIP connections.

E. Turner again reiterated the importance of backup modem connection
to the site.  It saved half a night's observing at Princeton.

B. Gillespie noted that net connectivity is degrading over time, and
C. Stubbs reported that UW proposal to NSF for vBNS connection is
likely to be funded.

Engineering time:

R. Walterboss asked about how engineering was being used, and 
Gillespie and Turner replied that occasionally the time was
used for science programs, at their discretion.

SPIcam update:

C. Stubbs reported that the 2k x 2k prototype imager had its
first science run on the night of Oct 13 and that performance
was good.

Site Staffing:

B. Gillespie reported that a new Observing Specialist would
start on Nov. 1, and that another candidate was to visit the
site soon.


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