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[Acq Cam image of NGC1097]

Acquisition Camera Performance and Use

Status and availability: The AcqCam on Gemini South is being made available for science imaging in queue observing mode only, with particular emphasis on Quick Response (2003B only) and fast repetition rate observations. See the latest Call for Proposals for further details.

Some results and issues from use during previous semesters are available.

The AcqCam on Gemini North is not available for science use, only for target acquisition.

AcqCam Components: See the AcqCam components page (also linked from the contents menu) for details of filters and detector.
Sensitivity: The Integration Time Calculator can be used to determine limiting magnitudes, exposure times, S/N ratios, background levels, etc. for a wide range of source properties, observing conditions and filters. The ITC was used to generate a table of sensitivity estimates. The latest results from sensitivity tests performed during commissioning are also listed.

The estimated image quality delivered to the instrument is given as part of the observing condition constraints.

Observing strategies: See the Observing Strategies page for guidance and special considerations derived from the instrument commissioning and early science use. When you're done, don't forget to review the Checklist
Phase II Preparations: See the Phase II Special Instructions. For help getting started, please see the OT Tutorial page.
Observing overheads:
The overheads associated with each new science target (for target acquisition, telecope, WFS and instrument re-configuration etc.) total 15 min for imaging. For automated sequences of exposures (dither patterns, mosaics etc.) the estimated on-source efficiency is 75% (i.e. 25% of the elapsed time is used for telescope offsetting, WFS re-acquisition, detector readout etc) for long exposures and/or offsets larger than 5 arcsec. See the AcqCam Observing Strategies page for overheads with short exposures.

These overheads should be included in the time requested for each observation.

Calibration: Flat-fielding of AcqCam is to be carried out using either twilight flats or the facility calibration unit. Baseline calibrations will be obtained for all queue observations. See the baseline calibrations page for information on standard stars.
Data processing and software: A small package of IRAF scripts is under development.


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Last update March 4, 2003; Phil Puxley
Previous version August 21, 2002; Cláudia Winge