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Proceedings Paper

Switching the Liverpool Telescope from a full-service operating model to self-service
Author(s): R. J. Smith; Neil R. Clay; Stephen N. Fraser; J. M. Marchant; C. M. Moss; I. A. Steele
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Paper Abstract

The Liverpool Telescope has undergone a major revision of operations model, improving the facility's flexibility and rapid response to targets of opportunity. We switched from a "full service" model where observers submitted requests to the Support Astronomer for checking and uploading into the scheduler database to a direct access model where observers personally load sequences directly into the database at any time, including during the night. A new data model describing the observing specifications has been developed over two years for the back-end operations infrastructure and has been invisible to users until early 2010 when the new graphical user interface was deployed to all observers. The development project has been a success, defined as providing new flexible operating modes to users without incurring any downtime at the change over or interruption to the ongoing monitoring projects in which the observatory specializes. Devolving responsibility for data entry to users does not necessarily simplify the role of observatory staff. Ceding that absolute hands-on control by experienced staff complicates the support task because staff no longer have advance personal knowledge of everything the telescope is doing. In certain cases software utilities and controls can be developed to simplify tasks for both observers and operations staff.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7737, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems III, 773711 (29 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856523
Show Author Affiliations
R. J. Smith, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Neil R. Clay, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Stephen N. Fraser, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
J. M. Marchant, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
C. M. Moss, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
I. A. Steele, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)

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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