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Phase II Checklist

Checklist for FLAMINGOS-2 Phase II (OT) programs


  • General
    • Have you selected appropriate templates from the F2 OT library? Have you gone through the checklist in the Top-level Program Overview note and included relevant standardized notes? Add notes with information about the program and acquisition that will make it easier for the observer. Try to use the standardized notes provided in the OT Library.

    • In the F2 component, check that the best read mode has been selected for your science observation.

    • Are the integration times reasonable? Minimum exposure times are defined by the read mode.

    • F2 observation sequences that take longer than ~3 hours to execute will likely not be executed all on one night, and you must allow adequate time for re-acquisitions on subsequent nights when filling the allocated time. Have you read the details about the overhead calculations? Have you added a note explaining how many reacquisitions you have assumed for the calculation of the overheads? Taking the correct overheads into account, do your defined observations fit within the allocated observing time? Is there an appropriate mix of science exposures and baseline calibrations in the sequence?

    • Have you checked Baseline Calibrations to see what is offered/required.

    • Baseline arcs and flats should be set up using smartcals now. Choosing a flat (as observe element) within a science sequence will automatically set up a baseline nighttime partner calibration with an optimal exposure time. Choosing an arc within a science sequence will automatically set up the correct exposure time but these must be set to nighttime program calibration. Within a daytime arc sequence, this will be set up as daytime partner calibration. If you feel you need a different exposure time (to optimize counts within a particular region of the spectrum for example, use these tables as guidelines for recommended exposure times for GCAL Arcs and Flats. As of 2012B, arcs and flats configured manually will no longer be checked by either the NGO or Contact Scientist. Any time lost will be charged to the PI.
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  • Guide stars
    • Are guide stars selected for the F2 OIWFS? The PWFS2 is not used with F2 in most cases. To choose a guide star for OIWFS, you can simply click on the Auto GS button in the OT position editor (with 'Allow +- 180deg change for guide star selection' chosen in the F2 component if appropriate). This will select an appropriate guide star for the specified observing conditions. Alternatively, the PI can still choose a guide star using the Manual GS button on the OT position editor. For manual guide stars, ensure that the guide star can be reached for the selected position angle, that the guide star is within the magnitude limits for the OIWFS, and that all guided offset positions can be reached. Check that the probe arm is visible and falls within the green box in the position editor. Fix any red offset positions. The UCAC3 catalog should be used whenever possible for choosing guide stars as the magnitudes are usually reliable.

    • Ensure guide stars are stars and not galaxies.
  • Calibrations
    • Check that appropriate calibrations are included in the program. To see which baseline calibrations/standards are recommended, see Near-IR Calibrations.

    • For twilight flats, make sure that the target component is left blank or excluded.

    • If the PI requires calibrating standards beyond what is offered in the standard baseline calibrations, these must be defined, including a specific target, and time will be charged against the program for the observation. Observing class should be set to Nighttime Program Calibration. Baseline standards are set to partner calibration.

  • Imaging
    • Have you considered spatial dithers for imaging? These are normally needed to subtract the bright near-IR sky from the data.

    • Baseline photometric standards should not be defined within the program. These baseline standards are already taken on each photometric night that imaging data is obtained. If the PI wishes to have more than one taken, or insists on having one taken with a program defined for CC70 conditions, then a program standard with target component will have to be defined in the program by the PI.

  • Spectroscopy
    • Have you considered spatial dithers for spectroscopy? These are normally needed to subtract the sky, avoid bad detector regions, and monitor the sky variations.

    • Ensure that all the appropriate baseline calibrations (nighttime GCAL flats, twilight flats, daytime Ar, mask image obs [for MOS], and " before " and " after " telluric standards) and acquisition observations are included.

    • Have you included the appropriate acquisition observations?

    • If an observation includes an unusual or non-standard acquisition (eg. off-axis long-slit where the guide star cannot be accessed with the science target on-axis, blind offset acquisitions, MOS acquisitions with large initial offsets, etc), include the appropriate OT Library standardized note in the program. The text of the note can either describe the acquisition or point to other notes within the program. Using these standardized notes should minimize acquisition errors and would alert the observers about non-standard observations.
    • BLIND OFFSETS: Use when targets are too faint to be acquired within 5 min of imaging.
      • Make sure that a User1 target is defined with coordinates on the same astrometric system as the science
      • Make sure the blind offset User1 star has a name, preferably something like 'Reference Star' or 'Blind offset star'
      • Offset star should preferably be within 20 arcsec of the science target. The accuracy of blind offsetting is better than 0.1 arcsec for offsets less than 20 arcsec.
      • For the blind offsetting to work, it is essential that the same guide star can be reached for the bright object and the science target.
      • Include a note in the program to warn the observer of the non-standard acquisition.
    • If your longslit spectroscopic observations involve complicated alignments, crowded fields, or targets fainter than about H=14.0 (eg. if the target is not obvious in the OT position editor with the 2MASS image loaded), you need to prepare finding charts. Such a finding chart should indicate the target/s and display the orientation (preferably North up and East to the left) and scale. Finding charts should be uploaded through the OT.

    • If your program is a MOS program, have you defined any pre-imaging along with mask observations? You will get the chance to modify the MOS observations once you design your mask. However, the pointing and PA of your target cannot be changed between the pre-imaging and the MOS observations.
    • For MOS programs, have you included the required daytime calibration mask image(s) .
    • If your program is a MOS program, prepare yourself for the mask design by reading the MOS instructions in detail and installing the required software.
    • Mask names must be in the correct format: ie for program GS-2014A-Q-20, the mask names should be GS2014AQ020-01 and GS2014AQ020-02 for the first and second mask, respectively.

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