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Proceedings Paper

User support: lessons learned from HST
Author(s): Christopher P. O'Dea; Karla A. Peterson; Anuradha Koratkar
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Paper Abstract

The goal of STScI's user support is to provide HST observers with the tools, documentation and assistance they need to maximize the scientific return of their observations. This includes pre-observing support to design feasible observing programs which meet their scientific goals and post- observing support in the calibration, reduction, and analysis of the data. The current model for user support evolved over the first five years of HST operations and culminated in our contact scientist (CS) and program coordinator (PC) team. The CS is a professional astronomer as well as an instrument scientific for one of the HST instruments. The PC provides technical support as an expert in the language and tools of HST observation specification, implementation and scheduling. The underlying philosophy is that (1) the CS/PC team supports the observer from 'cradle to grave' of the observation and (2) the team is a 'single point of contact' for the observer. This means the observer can contact the CS/PC team during any phase in the life cycle of an HST program to receive assistance. It also ensure that the use obtains help from the two people at STScI who are the most familiar with the program, without being shuffled among many different experts. The STScI help desk provides parallel support for requests which do not deal with a given HST program. Requests are received, tracked, and assigned to the appropriate expert for reply. Our holistic approach combines CS/PC support with documentation, software and tools, and the help desk to create ann efficient and powerful support structure for observers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 July 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3349, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return, (3 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316526
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher P. O'Dea, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Karla A. Peterson, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Anuradha Koratkar, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)

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

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