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Role Summaries

These were written by Antonella Palmese, Christopher Bonnett and Kathy Romer for the benefit of DES members who have not been to CTIO before. These lists are very basic, and not comprehensive. You will need to read other documents (links in the Sidebar) before you start observing. Clear Skies!

Observer 1 Makes the observations happen

  1. Start of the night: Start up the camera. Manually load (from a GUI) an observing command into the Observer Console to take a quick observations that are used to check the telescope pointing
  2. Start of the night: Manually load (from a GUI) observing scripts into the Observer Console for standard star calibrations (and run them, that is a separate step)
  3. Start of the night: Enable the software (OBSTAC) that automatically loads (and runs) observing scripts into the Observer Console for DES images (wide and SN)
  4. Start of the night: Check that the atmospheric monitoring camera (aTm cam) is working
  5. During the night: monitor the telescope and observing conditions
  6. During the night: Troubleshoot if SISPI (the program that runs the observing scripts) throws up any errors
  7. End of the night: Run standard star scripts at the end of the night and make sure the instrument has been put into safe mode

Observer 2 Checks the observations as they happen and writes reports

  1. In the afternoon: check that the dome flats are OK
  2. In the afternoon: start the various reports/logs (eLog; night summary, CTIO report) and keep updating them till dawn.
  3. At the start of the night: run a script that checks how well the telescope is pointing.
  4. During the night: Regularly check and record the weather (by eye, from the Tololo environmental website, and from Rasicam).
  5. During the night: Checking each the image quality of each exposure and record any issues you find.
  6. During the night: If something happens during an exposure (e.g. earthquake) record that in the night summary.
  7. During the night: Keep an eye on the telescope webcam (pointing up through the slit) to see if the FOV is getting to close to the sides.
  8. End of night: Compile, file and publish the various reports (worst part of being a DES Shifter!)

Run Manager

  1. Takes responsibility for the safety of the team (including briefing them before and after arrival, and making sure they get enough sleep)
  2. Training the team (and keeping an eye on them during the night until they feel confident working independently)
  3. Liaising with the CTIO technical staff (including offering them cups of coffee, asking if they would like some music on, and thanking them for all their help)
  4. Writing the daily observing plan (including adding ephemeris and standard star information)
  5. Importing information from DESDM about previous nights' data.
  6. Making judgement calls (e.g. its really cloudy, the dome is closed, and its only 30 minutes before observations would stop if its clear - maybe its worth letting everyone go to bed a bit earlier)
  7. Checking to make sure all the reports are filled in the correct way
  8. Tidying/washing up each morning