16 Jan 2019
LCO's software team is currently working on a project to BANZAI-process data in "real time". Currently, the BANZAI pipeline operates in two modes: it creates a "quick look" data product as soon as an exposure is transferred back to HQ, and it creates a final data product at the end of the night. When this project is complete, the pipeline will create a single, final data product on the "quick look" timescale, i.e. as soon as possible. To enable this real time processing, we have to shift the timing of our calibration observations. And an additional change that we need to make first is to alter the names of the master calibration frames. If you never concern yourself with the master calibration frames, then you don't need to be concerned with this name change, either. However, the master calibration frame are available to all in the archive, and if you are (or your TOM software is) retrieving them, you should be aware that the name change is imminent. Currently, these files have names (using an fa12 master flat field for the SDSS g' filter as an example) like skyflat_fa12_20190115_bin1x1_gp.fits.fz . The new file names will begin with the site and telescope codes, so the fa12 example would be named coj1m011-fa12-20190115-skyflat-bin1x1-gp.fits.fz. Please let me (or firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you will be adversely affected by this change.
A change that has already been deployed is an increase in the setup time for observations with the Spectral cameras on the 2m telescopes. Back in March 2018, we reduced the overhead from 240s to 120s, but based on results from recent requests (since Dec 1), we've increased the overhead to 180s. We expect that the increase will result in fewer cancelled 2m observations.
The Spectral camera on the 2m telescope at Siding Spring (COJ) has been offline since December 27, when the compressor failed. The instrument will be available again as soon as the compressor can be replaced.
Two other instruments are currently offline because of problems with their cryo systems: the fa06 Sinistro in Dome C in South Africa and the ELP-NRES unit in Texas. In South Africa, the Dome C telescope is being used exclusively for CPT-NRES observations; in Texas, the Dome A telescope is being used exclusively for imaging observations.