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Proceedings Paper

JCMT remote operations feasibility study
Author(s): R. Justin S. Greenhalgh; Ian Pain
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Paper Abstract

This study has looked at the technical implications of switching the JCMT to a remote operations mode, taking as a baseline the telescope being operated from Hilo with no staff normally present on the summit during the night. This study has not addressed observing modes, staffing or their implications in terms of costs. There is a potential show- stopper in that unless a good fraction of the instruments can be made remotely operable then any remote operation would be very inflexible. To modify the instruments in this way would require input from the same well-found labs that are currently engaged in the instrumentation work for JCMT and it is not clear that they could do both things at once. If this problem could be overcome, the bottom line conclusions are that at a level of work that we considered to be reasonable: the upfront costs would be some $DLR 650k plus 17 direct staff years spread over 1 to 3 years, some of which would have to be in expert instrumentation groups. There would be some extra lost telescope time due to the delay in getting someone from Hilo to fix a fault, which could roughly double telescope down-time. This could be reduced by extra initial investment. Long-term savings in accommodation, vehicle and staffing costs would be significant. There would also be efficiency gains because of the removal of the '14000 ft effect', however these are hard to quantify.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 July 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3349, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return, (3 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316499
Show Author Affiliations
R. Justin S. Greenhalgh, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Ian Pain, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3349:
Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return
Peter J. Quinn, Editor(s)

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