DES Observer Scheduling¶
Once we know the CTIO schedule and know which dates DES has the telescope we can start scheduling observers. We usually are scheduling about 8 to 10 weeks in advance of the observing nights.
We use up to three observers. During full nights we have "Observer 1", "Observer 2", and "Run Manager" positions. In short, Observer 1 controls DECam, Observer 2 checks the data quality as it is coming in, and Run Manager makes sure things are going smoothly. There is more description on the DES Operations wiki page. During half nights the Run Manager also serves as Observer 1 or Observer 2. The Run Manager job requires some DES observing experience.
We usually schedule the Run Manager position first. Once that position is filled we schedule the other observers.
The procedure to be scheduled starts with sending email to the appropriate person (HTD for Y5 and include KR if you are in the UK), who will negotiate observing dates with you. Once those are agreed upon you will receive a sort of formal-looking email invitation that provides initial instructions. When that is sent out it is assumed that you are observing on those agreed-upon dates. The instructions in that email include what you are to do to make travel arrangements to get to Chile, who the contact people are, and what you need to do in preparation for your observing.
For people in the US travel arrangements are made through Fermilab and DES Ops pays for it. If you are not in the U.S., travel arrangements are made according to the rules of your home institution. The invitation/instructions will advise you what to do.