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Proceedings Paper

Automatic validation of science programs in the Gemini Observing Tool
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Paper Abstract

The key to a successful observing experience at Gemini is a well-prepared science program. The astronomer uses a software application called the Gemini Observing Tool (OT) to fill in the specifics of instrument and telescope configuration during the Phase 2 process. This task involves knowing several details about the Gemini instruments as well as particularities of the telescope and the best way to observe with them. Unfortunately, reviewing these programs can be tedious and error prone. Failure to catch a simple misconfiguration could lead to suboptimal science results or even lost time at the telescope. As part of an effort to make it easier for investigators to define the details of their programs and for the National Gemini Offices and Gemini contact scientists to check and validate them, we have included an automatic program-checking engine in the OT. The "Phase 2 Checker" continually examines the science program configuration as edits are made, finds significant problems, and reports them to the user along with suggested corrections. Since its introduction in the 2007B semester release of the Observing Tool, this feature has been very well received by the community. This paper describes the software (infrastructure and user interface) that supports the Phase 2 Checker, results of validating new and existing science programs, and future improvements we are currently considering.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7019, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II, 70190S (14 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.787712
Show Author Affiliations
Arturo Núñez, Gemini Observatory (Chile)
Shane Walker, Gemini Observatory (Chile)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7019:
Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II
Alan Bridger; Nicole M. Radziwill, Editor(s)

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