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Proceedings Paper

Maintenance management at La Silla Paranal Observatory
Author(s): Nelson Montano
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Paper Abstract

From the beginning of the VLT project, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) considered the application of a competent maintenance strategy a fundamental aspect for future operations of the Paranal Observatory. For that purpose, a special maintenance philosophy was developed during the project stage and applied during the initial years of operations. The merging of the La Silla and Paranal Observatories in 2005 added a new managerial challenge to the regular operational requirements (high availability and reliability) which motivated ESO Management to develop a stronger strategy for the operations of the new merged Observatory. Part of the new strategy considered the creation of a dedicated department for the management of all maintenance activities, separating this support from the traditional scheme where the Engineering Department had the responsibility for the entire technical support to operations. In order to keep a competent level of maintenance operations for the new unified Observatory, the La Silla Paranal (LSP) Maintenance Department has been using a well known maintenance management model used in various industrial applications as a guide. Today the operations of the Maintenance Department are concentrated on developing and implementing practices regarding concepts such as Maintenance Tactics, Planning, Data Management, Performance Indicators and Material Management. In addition to that, advances related to Reliability Analysis been taken in order to reach a superior level of excellence. The results achieved by the LSP Maintenance Department are reflected in a reduced rate of functional failures, allowing uninterrupted operations of the Observation sites.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 701606 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790835
Show Author Affiliations
Nelson Montano, European Southern 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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