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Archive of FAQ & FMM 2000 - 2011

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Frequently asked questions (and frequently made mistakes!) regarding Phase I proposals and the Gemini Phase I 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.

21 February 2006
Converting a postscript file to PDF: The 2006B PIT no longer accepts postscript (.ps or .eps) attachments. The following tools are available to convert postscript documents to PDF (thanks to STScI and the Spitzer Science Center). This links are provided for information only. The Gemini Observatory does not endorse these products or assume any responsability for their use.

Free PDF viewers include:

Ongoing...(updated 31 August 2001)
Wish list of modifications: many items suggested by PIT users have been improved in the new PIT release (2001B). See the Hot News page for a full list of modifications. The following items remain on the list (in no particular priority order):

  • Add a "save-as-LaTeX" feature, complementing the "save-as-HTML", to be used by those National Offices that accept LaTeX
  • Add word count for scientific justification
  • Add a flag for related applications to other telescopes in current proposal round
  • Augment the Cookbook with dynamic visual help (e.g. mpeg/avi files of common tasks)
  • Link allowable attachments to the HTML summary so that e.g. gif, jpeg and text files can be printed with the proposal
  • Enable up-loading of the publications list and previous time allocation from files
  • Allow the GeminiData.xml file (and ideally changes to the program itself) to be updated without requiring an entire new PIT release
  • Add a tab to explain the preferred scheduling dates
  • Explore MathML or other means for inclusion of Greek letters and mathematical equations
  • Protect against bad characters in the object co-ordinate fields

16 March 2000
Clarification of observing overheads: sources of overheads when observing with Gemini include: target acquisition, configuration of the peripheral and/or adaptive optics wavefront sensors, detector readout, telescope and wavefront sensor offsetting, calibration (photometry, spectrophotomtery, AO PSF measurement). The time requested for each observation (i.e. each new target) within the proposal must include the estimated overheads described on the instrument pages.

12 March 2000
Drafting proposal text: the recommended practice when drafting a proposal is to write the text in your favourite editor or word processor and then cut and paste (or, for simple ASCII files, load them directly) into the PIT document. That way, if you have a problem with the PIT itself, you won't have to retype the text. Please note that the "open file" button will overwrite existing text in the relevant PIT window.

Last update 21 February, 2006: Bryan Miller; In original form Phil Puxley, Colin Aspin, Jim Wright

Gemini Observatory Participants