Policies and Procedures.
The remote observing room (FRH 2149) is available for Keck and Lick
observing, videoconferences, and other meetings. The priorities
- Keck remote observing
- Lick remote observing on the Shane telescope
- Lick remote observing on the Nickel telescope
- Videoconferences related to UC Observatories business, Keck, TMT,
- Other videoconferences
- Other meetings
Carrollann will be maintaining a calendar for the room. It is
important to reserve the room well in advance for remote observing,
because there may be times when we have both Keck and Lick observers
who would like to use the room on the same night. As soon as you
know that you want to use the remote observing room for a particular
night, you must reserve the night on the calendar. If there are
scheduling conflicts with more than one group requesting the room on a
particular day or night, then the higher ranked request (according to
the list above) will get priority. If two different UCI groups
are scheduled for the same night on both Keck telescopes and both want
use the room, then the first group to request the remote observing room
will get priority. In that case, it may be possible for the other
use a remote facility at another campus as a backup choice.
Keep in mind that a night of remote observing involves afternoon setup
and calibrations, and possibly morning calibrations too. A remote
observing group will have priority over any other daytime meetings, so
daytime teleconferences and meetings should not be scheduled at times
that would conflict in any way with a remote observing session.
To start planning your remote observing run, there are 2 things you
need to do:
- Tell Carrollann the dates and times you need the room and which
telescope you'll be using so she can add your event to the calendar
- Contact the appropriate observatory personnel to request
permission for remote observing (see links below for Lick and Keck
The amount of time needed in the remote observing room will vary by
season and will depend on the amount of setup time needed in the
afternoon. If you have a remote observing night, try to
estimate the amount of time you'll actually be in the room, so that
other groups can use the room during the daytime before or after your
observing night. As examples, a typical observing session
including setup time might be something like this:
- Lick: afternoon setup starting at 2 pm, and finishing in the
morning around 7 am
- Keck: afternoon setup starting at 5pm (PST), and finishing in the
morning around 10 am (PST)
Then when you reserve the room with Carrollann, tell her the hours that
you'll be using the room so she can mark them on the calendar.
Don't forget to account for the time difference between Hawaii and
California, and remember that Hawaii doesn't use daylight savings time.
We are using Google Calendar to manage the remote observing room
schedule. When you want to schedule an event, talk to Carrollann
and she can put it in the calendar for you. The calendar is
only viewable by members- if you want permission to view the calendar
then talk to Aaron. It's easiest if you have a gmail
account. Once you have an invitation to view the calendar, you
can see it in your own Google Calendar or in the following link:
The remote observing calendar is viewable here.
If you're scheduling the room for daytime use, check the schedule to
see if a nighttime user is
using the room before or after you, and try to leave plenty of buffer
time if you're scheduling a meeting so that there won't be any
conflicts with nighttime observers.
It's the observer's responsibility to be aware of all observatory
policies and procedures related to remote observing- see the links
particular, the observer is responsible for contacting the appropriate
observatory staff members to schedule the remote observing run, and to
do this well in advance of the observing run. For Lick, remote
observers must be checked out and approved by observatory staff on the
instrument that's being used and
on the remote observing setup.
If you need login information for the remote observing workstation,
talk to Aaron or Gary.
It is also the observer's responsibility to clean up after using the
Please don't bring food or drinks to the observer's desk where things
could spill on the computer or keyboard- if you're going to eat,
use the round table.
Remote observing setup for Keck.
For Keck, we are set up for "eavesdrop" mode observing, in which at
least one observer has to be in Waimea and other observers can
participate from Irvine. In eavesdrop mode, the observers in
Irvine have access to all instrument controls and can participate fully
in the night's observing. We are not set up for fully remote
observing since we don't yet have a backup ISDN line which is needed in
case of internet outage.
Requests for eavesdrop mode must be made at least 2 weeks
prior to the observing run. Detailed instructions on how to make
the request are in the links below.
Polycom IP numbers and support astronomer phone numbers are posted on
the bulletin board. For a remote observing session, use the
polycom to connect to the Waimea remote ops polycom for Keck I or Keck
II. If all goes well then you should see a 3-way connection with
Waimea and the summit control room.
Important links for Keck remote observing:
Remote observing setup for Lick.
For Lick, we can do either full remote or eavesdrop observing. To
request remote or eavesdrop observing, you must specify it on your
proposal, or contact Burt Jones to make the request (see detailed
instructions in the Lick policies and procedures page below). You
must also be previously checked out on the instrument that you'll be
using. On the first afternoon of the observing run, you'll need
to schedule a remote system checkout to make sure that the polycom and
instrument connections are working properly.
It is absolutely critical
that you should not start up the instrument control software or do any
instrument configuration until you've spoken with the day crew at the
summit and gotten permission from them. There is a danger
of damage to people or to the instrument if you accidentally started
initializing the instrument while the day crew was working on it.
ALWAYS talk to the day crew on the polycom and get permission from them
before starting any instrument controls or initialization. When
you're setting up in the afternoon, the very first thing to do is to
initiate a polycom connection to the Shane control room to talk to the
Important links for Lick remote observing: (Some of the links on
the Lick remote observing site are only accessible by certain IP
addresses. The workstation in our remote observing room should
have permission to view all of the links.)
End of night shutdown procedures.
This applies to both Keck and Lick. At the end of the night, use
the appropriate instrument menus to shut down all of the instrument
controls, guider windows, etc. Use the instrument control
menus (rather than the window manager buttons) to close the instrument
windows. Then, when everything is fully shut down, go back to the
original terminal window that you used to start up the VNC
session. Hit control-c in that window, and that will kill the VNC
windows. Then just log out of the workstation. When you're
done with the polycom session, just hit the button on the polycom
remote to hang up the session, and turn off the
TV. It's ok to leave the polycom on after you've hung
system will go to sleep after a few minutes. Also, turn off the
four LCD monitors to save power.