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Start of Observing Checklist (Dome Open)

This the beginning of night checklist. These are the things that observers do
after dinner. A version of this checklist is available as a pre-defined
form in the eLog. We don't ask you to fill it out. Note variances in the eLog.

What to do in case of an early evening ToO

After Calibration

  • Twilight Starts (Time):
  • Twilight Ends (Time):
  • Dome is Open about an hour before sunset (No would be the variance) [Y/N]:
    • If not, have TELOPs open the dome.
  • SISPI Interlocks OK [Y/N]:
  • SISPI Interlocks that are not OK [List]:
    • Check interlocks on SISPI at system1:7001/apps/interlock_viewer/
  • Check That Afternoon Calibrations Completed [Y/N]:

After Sunset

  • Read plan for the night. (Linked in first column on shift calendar: 2018 = DESShiftsYr7)
  • Preselect standard Stars for appropriate UT
    • If no standards listed in night plan: use kentools, run "standards <UT to start standards>"
      Note that we don't want you to run kentools directly on the Observer3 computer. Instead open a window and type ssh -X -l DECamObserver observer2
  • Check RASICAM Running. If not running ask Telops to start it. [Y/N]:
  • After sunset but before -10 degree twilight, preload initial exposure scripts:
    • Make sure blocker is in. Vsub remains OFF for now.
    • Click Load Exposure Script, then Select DECam Script
      • Select DES/flush_Vsub.json and hit Submit
      • Click Add Break
    • Now you will preload the pointing exposure (this is coordinated with the Observing Assistant):
      • More info: Telescope Zeropoint Procedures
      • Type: pull-down menu should be object.
      • Object box: "pointing"
      • Time is 3s
      • Count is 1
      • Filter is r
      • Click Add (this adds the pointing exposure to the queue)
      • Click Add Break (this adds a pause that you will have to "resume")
      • Click Add and Add Break again (this adds another pointing exposure and another break)
  • Wait until -10 degree twilight
  • Sun at -10 degree twilight
    • Turn Vsub ON (System Control Tab).
    • Hit Go to execute flush script loaded earlier.
      • Just checking: did you Turn VSub ON like we asked you to ?
      • Click Go to execute the Pointing Object Exposure that was preloaded
      • If TCS is rebooted this procedure needs to be repeated.
      • Wait for Observer 2 to analyze the pointing results using kentools "center". You will need to rerun the pointing script if the offset is greater than 10". If it is less, you can delete the extra pointing exposure you preloaded and move onto standard stars. Note: there is a different spec for pointing accuracy once observing has started. See Observer2 instructions.
  • Click Load Exposure Script, then Select DECam Script (as of 2016/12/02 : usr sispi decam ExposureScripts DES standards as seen at top of Open File)
    • As the high airmass standard star observation is most time critical, submit the high airmass standard star script first
      • For evening standards, use the Yzirg scripts under DES/standard/Yzirg (see Standard Star Instructions)
      • ... although if you accidentally use the grizY scripts, it is not a big deal... (--D. Tucker)
    • Repeat for the other Standard Star scripts (do the one closest on the sky to the first next).
    • OMIT (11/13/14 HTD) Click Add Break to add a break at the end of all Standard Stars
    • (About once every 7 nights and usually on Tuesdays for no particular reason: Add DES/defocus_nightly.json before the last break to append it to the last evening standard)
  • Click Go to execute the Standard Star Scripts that were preloaded
    • After the first image of last standard star script remove all "breaks" from the queue and click Enable Auto to start OBSTAC thinking. Obstac will not begin adding exposures to the queue if there are breaks in it.
  • Wait for -14 deg twilight, if necessary (particularly if Standard Stars are skipped due to clouds), then begin OBSTAC Observing [Time]:
    If obstac is not used , submit Night Scripts:
    Script Names:
  • While ObsTac is running, do these periodically:
    • Check Telemetry:
      Telemetry OK [Y/N]:
      The Standard SISPI Telemetry Plots are explained at
      Explanation of SISPI Telemetry GUI Plots
      [need to list some critical items to record]
    • Check DTS Operating:
      DTS OK [Y/N]:
      Check "Delivered"
      A good step to do very early is to check that images are getting to observer2. If not then the problem is on the SISPI side.
      Alternatively you can access the page http://dts.noao.edu/status/
      Mike Fitzpatrick notes that the "Pend" column is the number of pending transfers out of that node and is usually near 1, but can be much higher during fast cadence programs or calibration sequences. If you suspect something is really "stuck" and nothing is moving, an email to & & &
  • Check Image Health:
  • Check Images on Comfort Display:
  • Comments: