AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 10. The Hobby*Eberly Telescope
Display, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[10.09] Interacting with the HET Queue

Niall I. Gaffney (Hobby*Eberly Telescope), M. E. Cornell (McDonald Observatory)

The Hobby*Eberly telescope (HET) is a 9.2m effective aperture telescope located at McDonald Observatory in West Texas. The HET is operated by McDonald Observatory on behalf of the University of Texas, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludsiwg--Maximilians--Universität Müchen, and Georg-August-Universität Götingen. The fixed elevation of the HET restricts its sky coverage. Because the HET cannot point to all objects above the horizon at a given time, it is usually inefficient to schedule observations by awarding entire nights to a single PI. To maximize scientific output, we have developed a queued observing system to allow PIs to instruct resident astronomers at the HET how, when, and what to observe. Our system uses the now familiar Phase I/II architecture for requesting and submitting remote observations with a real time scheduling system for scheduling and executing observations. During Phase I, the PI uses simple planning tools to determine if and how a project may be done. Once projects are approved by a TAC at a partner institution, the PI creates a detailed plan for their observations. Plans are submitted electronically to the HET operations staff. Upon receipt, the plans are integrated into the HET's observing database. Resident astronomers use this database and the current and forecasted conditions to schedule observations. PIs are informed of new data by e-mail and may retrieve data to verify its quality in semi-realtime. PIs may make changes to their plans based on this data. In this poster we will discuss the flow of information from the initial proposal phase through the delivery of data and plan revision. We will talk about some of the details of the planning and scheduling software developed for this project. We will also discuss the results of our initial experience with our system in the Fall and Winter of 1998.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://rhea.as.utexas.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: niall@rhea.as.utexas.edu

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