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NIFS Phase II (OT) Checklist

To demonstrate technical feasibility in your proposal, and to speed acceptance of your phase II file, you may wish to consider the following checklist. When setting up your programme in the OT, please download and look at the example observations in the OT libraries.

There is a general OT/Phase II checklist that may be useful to consult.

Here is the NIFS checklist for Phase II, of which most, but not all, are NIFS-specific. For more information on most of these questions, consult the NIFS OT Details pages (along with the general instrument pages).

  • General
    • Have you included concise and informative notes in your OT file to aid the observer?
    • Have you prioritized all your observations?
  • Instrument configuration:
    • Did you choose an appropriate grating and filter?
    • Did you choose an appropriate readout mode?
    • Are the focal plane mask and imaging mirror set correctly (for normal observation, FPM='clear' and Mirror='out')?
    • Is the position angle correctly defined?
  • Guide stars:
    • Choose only one guide star (the brightest in guider FOV) per wavefront sensor you are using.
    • Is the selected guide star(s) brighter than the guiding limit?
    • Is the selected guide star(s) within the guide separation limit?
    • Check that the selected guide star(s) is not vignetted by the WFS probe arm.
  • Calibrations:
    • Are the appropriate baseline calibrations included in the phase II file and will they be sufficient? If not, have you included additional calibration data for your program?
    • Has sufficient observing time been requested for additional calibrations?
    • If your observation is long (> 2 hours), have you chosen appropriate telluric standards or calibration stars both before and after the science observation?
  • Observing time:
    • Are overheads included in the time requested in your proposal?
    • If many very short exposures are needed, you may need to include larger overheads to account for the lower observing efficiency.
    • If accurate centering of the target behind the occulting disk is essential, have appropriate overheads been included to allow periodic checks of the coronagraph centering?
    • If your observation is long (> 2hours), then it is recommend to break it up into smaller chunks for easier scheduling.
  • Observing conditions requested (for queue-scheduled observations):
    • Is the expected image quality (scaled to the airmass of your target) sufficient for your program? What is the minimum image quality necessary for the science?
    • What level of cloud cover is acceptable? Is photometric weather required?
    • Water vapor content is usually NOT relevant to NIFS observations.
    • Sky background in the near-IR doesn't vary greatly.
    • Note the product of the probabilities of each of the conditions listed above. You might wish to reconsider the minimum requirements of your program.
  • Acquisition Sequences:
    • Acquisition sequences are required for all coronagraphic observations and are recommended for other observations, too! Remember, the NIFS FOV is small 3."0 x 3."0!
    • Example acquisition sequences (and other observations) can be found in the NIFS OT Library