The Run Manager Position

Since the focus of the observers is appropriately on the night-to-night operations, there is a need for oversight of DES operations that spans runs and seasons. For this longer-term oversight we will have a Run Manager, a person familiar with DECam, SISPI, and DES procedures, who takes on a variety of practical tasks that all address the issue of continuity, making sure that DES data are being obtained, calibrated, moved, processed, etc. in an efficient, uniform, and organized manner. The Run Manger will be present in La Serena or as needed on the mountain in order to be close to the critical operations. The Run Manager complements the DECam Instrument Scientist (Alistair Walker) by focusing on the specific needs of DES. The Run Manager will be a DES scientist and the position may rotate as people are available. A minimum of some weeks is expected to maintain continuity.


During the Year 1 observing season we will determine if this is a useful model to continue in following years and adjust if needed. For the first observing season we need to cover roughly 6 months: September thru December (full nights) and January and part of February (half nights).

On DES science observing shifts we expect to have 2 observers and a Run Manager and CTIO will provide a telescope operator. At least 1 of the DES observers will have extensive prior experience as an observer. CTIO also provides support as defined in the DES Operations Plan and the DECam Operations and Maintenance Plan.

In addition to the observers the DES collaboration intends to provide for the first season a Run Manager and a technical expert. The Run Managers work towards improving the efficiency of observing operations, they will provide an interface with the CTIO DECam Instrument scientist and Telops and will provide continuity between DES observers.

The DES Run Manager is expected to participate in the daily status meetings led by the DECam Instrument Scientist (Alistair) and to work with CTIO staff to solve any problems.

The Run Managers are familiar with the DECam systems, documentation and procedures and able to provide training to Observers as needed. They work with CTIO staff to update documentation as needed and keep the DES electronic log book up to date.
They know who to call and when to call and how to call (following CTIO protocols for informing CTIO staff and DES experts as needed) and facilitate contacts with the DECam teams off site.

They know the rules for what can be done by telops and what requires a call to the US.
They know which observers were expected to be on shift and be in contact with them as they arrive on the mountain.

Run Manager tasks include:
  • Setup and Run the 4 PM Ops Meeting
  • Makes sure the shifters know how to fulfill their duties
  • Collect Feedback from Observers on previous nights data
  • Update the Survey Table
  • monitor alarms, other logged data, and calibration data
  • monitor the status and performance of DES and DECam tools
  • monitor long-term trends
  • generate performance metrics (e.g. observing efficiency).
  • The Run Manager will help establish that the relevant calibration frames are taken and included the program for each night.
  • Fill in for shifters if necessary