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Assembly of the Queue and Classical Schedule

The draft queue and classical schedule are assembled from the proposals that have been recommended for time by the NTACs. One important concept in bringing together these ranked lists of proposals is that of the merging sequence of which an example is:

[merging sequence]

The merging sequence, of which a recent example is shown, is a sequential list of all the Gemini participants. The frequency with which each participant occurs in the seqeunce is fixed to the nominal time allocations. The participants's recommended classical time is removed from their total allocation before the queue merge is carried out. Any minor advantage in being the participant with 'first pick' (Canada in this case) is reduced by rotating the starting point amongst the partners in subsequent semesters.

As of 2014B, the merging sequence includes observing time for Large and Long Programs, effectively as an additional participant.

The merging sequence is cycled through as many time as necessary to use every participant's available queue time. The available time in each observing constraint (e.g. dark time, SB50) is also checked and reduced on each allocation as appropriate; when the time in each bin is used no more programs requiring that condition are merged. Currently, we allow the poorer conditions to be overfilled, but the best image quality, dark and dry time, and photometric time, are not allowed to be overfilled. If a program cannot be scheduled it is skipped.

A simplified worked example of the first few steps of an early version of the merging process can be found in Puxley & Boroson (SPIE...1996; Gemini Preprint #13).