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Proceedings Paper

Managing target of opportunity (ToO) observations in queue mode at Gemini Observatory
Author(s): Katherine C. Roth; E. Rodrigo Carrasco; Bryan W. Miller; Andrew W. Stephens; Inger Jørgensen; Bernadette Rodgers
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Paper Abstract

Target of opportunity observations (ToO) are an integral part of multi-instrument queue operations at Gemini Observatory. ToOs comprise a significant fraction of the queue (20-25% of the highest ranking band) and with the advent of large survey telescopes (eg. Pan-STARRS, LSST) dedicated to searching for transient events this fraction may reasonably be expected to increase significantly in the coming years. While some important aspects of ToO execution at Gemini Observatory are managed automatically (eg. trigger alerts, data distribution), other areas such as duplications checking, scheduling and relative priority determination still require manual intervention. In order to increase efficiency and improve our commitment to ToOs and queue observing in general, these aspects need to be formalized and incorporated into improved phase 2 checking, automated queue scheduling and on-the-fly nightly plan generation software. We discuss the different flavors of ToOs supported at Gemini Observatory and how each kind is scheduled with respect to existing queue observations. We present ideas for formalizing these practices into a system of dynamical prioritization which automatically self adjusts as new ToO observations are triggered, high priority targets become endangered, and timing windows near expiration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7737, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III, 77370N (29 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857938
Show Author Affiliations
Katherine C. Roth, Gemini North Observatory (United States)
E. Rodrigo Carrasco, Gemini South Observatory (Chile)
Bryan W. Miller, Gemini South Observatory (Chile)
Andrew W. Stephens, Gemini North Observatory (United States)
Inger Jørgensen, Gemini North Observatory (United States)
Bernadette Rodgers, Gemini South Observatory (Chile)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7737:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III
David R. Silva; Alison B. Peck; B. Thomas Soifer, Editor(s)

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