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Proceedings Paper

Magellan Telescopes operations 2008
Author(s): David J. Osip; Mark M. Phillips; Povilas Palunas; Frank Perez; M. Leroy
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Paper Abstract

The twin 6.5m Magellan Telescopes have been in routine operations at the Las Campanas Observatory in the Chilean Andes since 2001 and 2002 respectively. The telescopes are owned and operated by Carnegie for the benefit of the Magellan consortium members (Carnegie Institution of Washington, Harvard University, the University of Arizona, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan). This paper provides an up to date review of the scientific, technical, and administrative structure of the 'Magellan Model' for observatory operations. With a modest operations budget and a reasonably small staff, the observatory is operated in the "classical" mode, wherein the visiting observer is a key member of the operations team. Under this model, all instrumentation is supplied entirely by the consortium members and the various instrument teams continue to play a critical support role beyond initial deployment and commissioning activities. Here, we present a critical analysis of the Magellan operations model and suggest lessons learned and changes implemented as we continue to evolve an organizational structure that can efficiently deliver a high scientific return for the investment of the partners.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 701609 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790028
Show Author Affiliations
David J. Osip, Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)
Mark M. Phillips, Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)
Povilas Palunas, Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)
Frank Perez, Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)
M. Leroy, Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory (Chile)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7016:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II
Roger J. Brissenden; David R. Silva, Editor(s)

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