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Special Instructions 2003A

Special Instructions for Completion of Phase II/OT Science Programs: Semester 2003A

This page provides instructions for completing Phase II Science Programs  for the 2003A semester on Gemini North (GMOS, NIRI, Michelle) and Gemini South (Phoenix, CIRPASS, Acquisition Camera).  

All observations with GMOS, NIRI, Michelle, Phoenix and Acquisition Camera must be defined using the Observing Tool (OT) software. Phase II detailed program definition for CIRPASS is carried out using an ASCII text form.  

Distribution of Phase II Skeletons

Gemini staff will translate approved Phase I proposals into the Phase II format. In this process, the observations and other details entered in Phase I are used to construct a ("skeleton") framework of your Science Program. PIs will be sent their the Phase II skeleton by e-mail.

What to do Next

Read the introduction to the Observing Tool, download and install the software. A new OT release ("river") was made available at the very beginning of January for 2003A; do not use the previous "limberlost" public release. Next, import your Phase II XML skeleton and define the observation details using the OT tutorial as an initial guide. There is extensive help regarding OT features on the web pages. 

CIRPASS PIs edit their ASCII forms using any text editor.

If during detailed definition you find that the approved observations need to be modified, please follow the change request procedure.

User Support

Starting in Semester 2003A, the National Gemini Offices are taking on the responsibility for Phase II support for the "established" facility and visiting instruments as mandated by the Gemini Board. (Phase II support for the other instruments remains with the Gemini Observatory staff). In outline, the Phase II process for the established instruments (GMOS, NIRI and Phoenix) is as follows:

  • PIs interact with NGO support staff to complete Phase II using the OT
  • All Phase II Science Programs are checked by NGO staff prior to being forwarded to the Gemini Contact Scientist. (Note that Gemini CSs will return any Phase II programs that are received directly from PIs, with instructions to contact their NGO).
  • Gemini Contact Scientist checks Phase II Science Programs; if there is any problem the Science Program will be returned to the NGO support staff. The NGO staff will then iterate further with the PI.
  • Only when the Gemini Contact Scientist agrees that the Science Program is ready will it be activated in the queue for execution. The Gemini CS will notify the PI that their program is in the active queue and that the Gemini CS is now the primary contact point.
  • One current exception to this overall model is in the area of GMOS mask design where Phase II support is provided directly by the Gemini Contact Scientist.

See an overview of the Phase II process for more details. You can help us and speed this process by checking the program yourself (see the OT/Phase II checklist and instrument-specific checklists on the OT instrument component pages). 

The names of the primary NGO support staff and Gemini Contact Scientist for all programs are included in the International Time Allocation Committee (ITAC) feedback, distributed via the NGOs, and listed on the Phase II support web page. 

To help us in the process of tracking user problems, questions and suggestions, and thereby improving the software and web pages, please continue to use the Gemini HelpDesk for any queries. This allows us to ensure that no queries are missed and help us improve the software and documentation. A streamlined interface is available, keyed to your Gemini Program ID (e.g. GN-2003A-Q-12). As with the regular HelpDesk interface, your query will be directed to NGO or Gemini support staff as appropriate.

Deadlines and Mechanism for Return of Completed Science Programs

To return your completed OT Science Program, use the "export XML" file option and send by e-mail to your National Gemini Office support staff (for GMOS, NIRI and Phoenix programs) or directly to your Gemini Contact Scientist (for Michelle and Acquisition Camera programs). CIRPASS PIs should send their completed ASCII forms directly to their Gemini Contact Scientist.

Completed Phase II Science Programs must be returned to your National Office or Gemini Contact Scientist (as listed on the Phase II support page) by the following deadlines (all 6pm local time):

  • 20 January - for programs with any instrument that can be executed very early in the semester and especially GMOS programs that require early pre-imaging
  • 19 February - for programs with any instrument

Note that only the observation descriptions received by these dates can be verified and made available for execution in the queue. 

In some cases GMOS PIs may be contacted directly and asked to submit their Phase II early to provide sufficient observations for pre-imaging and MOS spectroscopy at the very start of the semester. The PIs of each GMOS MOS program will be notified of the deadline for completion of their spectroscopic observation definition after the pre-imaging observations have been obtained. All pre-imaging observation descriptions must be submitted by the regular deadlines.

All PIs of classical programs must also submit Phase II Science Programs. The deadline for these is two weeks prior to the instrument block in which the classical nights are scheduled. (See the 2003 classical schedule and 2003A instrument schedule).

Status of Programs and Observations

The 2003A queue summary page show the current status (including Phase II) of all queue programs and indicates when data have been taken. 



Last update January 28, 2003; Phil Puxley