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Lost in the maze of information? There are two routes to finding help:

#1 sign Use the search engine at the top of a page or on our homepage to search the Gemini web pages.  For data reduction topics specifically, try the Data Reduction Support page.
#2 sign Submit a ticket to the HelpDesk to contact Gemini Observatory and National Gemini Office support staff. For more information on what happens next, how to update request details and how to re-open a 'resolved' request, please see HelpDesk FAQ.

The Gemini HelpDesk is the primary means by which individuals can make requests for information to the support staff. The support staff are distributed throughout the Gemini partnership: at the Gemini Observatory, within National Gemini Offices and elsewhere. The HelpDesk system takes care of routing, tracking, escalation and aids in the resolution of requests. You can track the status of your query via the HelpDesk and will be e-mailed when work is done on your request.

In broad terms, the division of responsibilities between Gemini staff and the National Offices is:

  • National Offices
    • Pre-observation (Phase I proposal and Phase II observation definition) and post-observation (data processing) off-site support.
    • First point of contact for user requests, which can be distributed to a wider support network and/or escalated to other National Offices or Gemini staff if necessary (see HelpDesk structure for more details).

  • Gemini
    • Observation execution and on-site support (e.g. via Contact Scientists).
    • Expert support for user requests.

Note that topics such as observing techniques and strategy are best sent direct to your NGO, and not submitted via the Helpdesk.

You should normally receive acknowledgment of your request within three working days. This will normally come from your NGO; if they are unable to resolve the issue it will be escalated, depending upon the type of issue, either to an instrument specialist in another NGO or to staff at the Observatory.

The handover of responsibility, from the National Offices to Gemini, for direct communication with queue and classical applicants occurs upon acceptance of their detailed Phase II programme into the Active Observing Database (see a description of the Phase II process for more details).

See the contents list for further information about how the HelpDesk is structured, who is responsible for responding to your request and to learn more about the HelpDesk system itself.

Helpdesk Structure and Responsibilities

The Gemini HelpDesk is organised into three levels or tiers.

Tier 1

The first points of contact for queries from the community are the National Gemini Offices (NGOs). Requests submitted via the HelpDesk are routed to the appropriate NGO, using the country selected by the user, and to an individual or group within the NGO according to the subject.

Few, if any, of the NGOs will have the resources or expertise to respond to queries in all areas in depth. In such cases the query is escalated by the NGO support staff up to the second tier.

Tier 2

The second tier is organised purely by category and sub-category. The full list of categories indicates the assignment, either to an NGO or Gemini. Some NGOs have the expertise to support the full Gemini community at the tier 2 level in particular categories while most categories at tier 2 are supported by Gemini.

Tier 3

The responsibility for tier-3 support in all categories lies with the Gemini Observatory.

Helpdesk Frequently Asked Questions

Q - How Does My Request Flow Through the System and How Do I Get Notified of Results?

A - Once your request has been successfully submitted into the system, it is automatically assigned to a HelpDesk support staff member. Initially, this will be someone from the National Office of your partner country. If they are unable to resolve it, it will be escalated to Gemini staff. You should receive a response acknowledging your request or escalation at each tier within three working days.

In the case of data reduction requests, the NGO staff member will, if the source of the problem is not easily ascertained from the information you provided, attempt to reproduce the problem with the same data set and current DR package release. If this does not produce a solution, the NGO will then refer the request to Gemini staff.

Q - How Do I Update a HelpDesk Request?

A - If you wish to add more information to a request that you have submitted, you can go to the Helpdesk portal and log in with your email address, once you are logged you can see all your tickets (click on the top right button "Requests") and clicking on the ticket, this will take you to the ticket page, where you can manage your request by adding a comment and/or by sharing your ticket, for instance. Alternatively, you can follow the link given in any of the notification you have received by email from the Helpdesk, this will take you to the same request-management page.

Q - How Do I Re-open a Resolved Request?

A - After responding to your request, the assigned staff member will normally set its status to resolved. However, in some cases it may be that they have failed to answer your question. You have the opportunity to re-open the request and ask the HelpDesk support staff to provide more information. Resolved requests automatically close after 14 days.

To re-open a resolved request you can go to the Helpdesk portal and log in with your email address, once you are logged you can see all your tickets (click on the top right button "Requests") and clicking on the ticket, this will take you to the ticket page, where you can manage your request by adding a comment, clicking on the "Save" button, the system will then automatically re-open the request, you will receive e-mail notification and the support staff will be notified. Alternatively, you can follow the link given in any of the notification you have received by email from the Helpdesk, this will take you to the same request-management page, and proceed as described.

Q - Why do I need to create an atlassian account to submit a ticket?

A - We need to ensure email is correct and to reduce incoming spam on system.

Helpdesk Categories

The categories and sub-categories in the Gemini HelpDesk, together with the broad tier-2 assignments, are as follows:

Category (ordered as in the helpdesk selection menu) Tier 2 support Explanation
Instruments For queries from proposals through data reduction
QUIRC/Hokupa’a * Gemini
CIRPASS * Gemini
OSCIR * Gemini
Michelle * Gemini
Phoenix US
bHROS * Gemini
GeMS Gemini
GSAOI Gemini
NIRSPEC * Gemini
Flamigos-1 * Gemini
Flamigos-2 US
NIFS Gemini
Visiting Instruments Gemini
Telescope For queries regarding telescope (non-instrument related) capabilities
WFS/guide stars Gemini
Acquisition Gemini
Calibration Gemini
Polarimetry US
Adaptive Optics Gemini
Other capabilities Gemini
Observing For queries related to everything else not related directly to instruments or telescope
Fast Turnaround Gemini
PIT or Phase I Gemini
Observing Tool/Phase II Gemini
Observing modes Gemini
Astrometry Gemini
Gemini IRAF Gemini For queries regarding the use of the Gemini IRAF package
General IRAF US For queries regarding the general use of IRAF
GMMPS Gemini
GMOS Cookbook Gemini For queries regarding US created and supported GMOS Cookbook
Gemini Publications Database Gemini For queries regarding the use of the Gemini User Publication Database
Gemini Observatory Archive Gemini
HelpDesk Gemini For queries regarding the use of this system
Web sites Gemini
Gemini North visitors Gemini
Gemini South visitors Gemini
Gemini committees Gemini
Partner Country Support Gemini
Computers Gemini
PR/outreach Gemini
Other Gemini

* Retired Instruments

NGO and Gemini Support

Phase II Gemini Contact Scientists and National Office Support Staff

The Gemini Observatory Contact Scientists and National Gemini Office support staff assigned to pre-observation Phase II, observation execution and post-observing support of queue and classical programs for the current semester, are listed in the tables linked below. These individuals are also the contacts assigned in the HelpDesk (NGO staff at tier-1, Gemini staff at tier-1 and/or tier-2).  

Please use the Gemini HelpDesk to ensure efficient distribution of your query to the person most appropriate to help you.

Gemini Contact Scientists

Argentina National Office Support Staff

Brazil National Office Support Staff

Canada National Office Support Staff

Chile National Office Support Staff

Korean National Office Support Staff

US National Office Support Staff

University of Hawaii National Office Support Staff

Searching and the Helpdesk | Gemini Observatory


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