Instructions for observations in remote mode using the SOAR Telescope
Starting 2013B, all Brazilian observers that gather observing time at SOAR must carry out their programs in classical/remote mode. In order to help SOAR users to plan and execute their programs, we strongly advice the reading of the documentation below. Questions and/or comments should be directed to soar.suporte at lna.br.
The list below also serves as a checklist so that the observer may review what to do and the steps that should be followed. The deadlines set are the minimum ones recommended. Failing at fulfilling them may inviabilize the observing run.
Before the Observation
- One month in advance
- Read at the very least the information on these pages.
- Read and follow the Policy for remote observations (in Portuguese) of the National SOAR Office. Going ahead with the items below implies in your agreement with that Policy.
- Fill in and send the SOAR Instrument Setup Form. In the field "Observer's email address" you should also include the address of the SOAR support team (soar.suporte at lna dot br).
- Start planning your observation using the Phase II form. Since that form may vary from semester to semester, we recommend using the one available specifically for the semester you get observing time. The latest version of the Phase II form can be found here.
- Read and get familiar with the manual pages of the instrument you will use during your run. At present, four instruments are available in remote mode: Goodman, OSIRIS, SOI, and Spartan.
- Contact the SOAR support team (soar.suporte at lna dot br) for connection tests and getting help/advice if you have doubts regarding the correct planning of your observations.
One week in advance
- Send the Phase II form duly completed.
- Send the final target list to the telescope operators. If it is a SAM run, the coordinates need to be sent at least TWO WEEKS in advance. For that instrument no changes in the target list are allowed after that deadline.
- Arrange with your support astronomer the optimal time to connect to the observing room.
The day of the Observation
- Plan ahead to be on time in the Remote Observing Unit.
- Take the daytime calibrations at the time previously agreed with the support team.
- Start observing when the telescope be ready.
- If during the remote observation there is a power failure or loss of internet connection, and the support astronomer is still available, the observer may contact him/her at soar.suporte at lna dot br or at the phone number +55 35 3629-8155. Please remember, any failure of the VPN/VNC clients or connectivity to SOAR during an observing night should be treated the same as a systems failure or weather problem.
- Follow the procedures for closing up the instrument described on the corresponding manual.
- Fill in and send the End of Night Report. In the field "Observer's email address" you should also include the address of the SOAR support team (soar.suporte at lna dot br). Note: this link can only be accessed through a VPN/VNC connection to SOAR.
Useful Contact information
- E-mail of the support team for Brazilian programs: soar.suport at lna dot br
- Phone number of the LNA Remote Observing Unit (Brazil): +55 35 36298155
- Phone number of the telescope operators at SOAR (Chile): +56 51 2205-500
- Skype username of the telescope operators at SOAR: soar_pachon
14/07/2015 by Alberto Rodríguez Ardila.