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Observing Tool FAQ
Frequently asked questions regarding Phase II science program preparation and the Gemini Observing Tool are discussed here. (See also the known bugs page for other known problems).
All questions should be submitted using the Gemini HelpDesk. This web-based system will send the request to your National Gemini Office staff in the first instance who will then provide you with the answer or escalate it to Gemini staff if necessary.
Please read the special instructions regarding completion of your PhaseII Science Program including those specific to the current/upcoming semester and where to go for help. Follow the link in the contents list for details.
Q: Where are the targes and conditions for my 2012B program?
A: Targets and conditions are associated with the instrument resources requested at Phase I. Phase I targets, conditions, and total times for a template group are viewed by clicking on the template group names.
Q: If I significantly change my instrument configuration in the templates, will the calibrations be automatically generated when I select Apply/Reapply?
A: Not at this time. This is a long-term goal but it is not possible to implement now. All configuration changes to the template observations must also be applied manually to any baseline calibration observations. An easy way to do this is to copy a component (instrument, conditions, sequence nodes), shift/cntl(command) click all the observations or sequence nodes where the component should go, and then click Paste. This will paste the contents of the copy buffer into all selected observations/sequences.
Q: Are there any example observations to help me get started with my Phase II?
A: Yes, there is an OT library for each instrument that you can fetch. Each contains example observations and common configurations. Starting with the 2008A OT there are special Library Fetch features for quickly fetching and updating the needed libraries.
Q: Why did the changes that I made to my program disappear after I stored the program?
A: The OT has a complicated set of rules governing fetch/store privileges and synching the local and observing databases. PIs have the privilege to overwrite observations with status "Phase 2" and "For Review." The database prevents the PI from changing observations with other status and will update the PIs local database with the information in the observing database if there are discrepancies. Since the status of observations in the observing database can change at any time, PIs should always fetch their program before editing it and save changes to XML before storing.
Q: Why is the OT so slow?
A: The OT runs quickly on modern hardware with sufficient memory. A Pentium III or equivalent with at 512MB of memory is the recommended minimum configuration. However, since the OT has a complicated GUI it does not work well if it is run on a remote machine and displayed locally. It is usually best to run the OT on the local machine.