News

Network status: SBIG "shutter failure" fixed

In recent status reports, I mentioned that we've swapped SBIG cameras on telescopes in Australia (Dome B) and Chile (Dome A). The swaps were only one step in our efforts to eliminate occurrences of "shutter failure" in these cameras. We believe we have now fixed the "shutter failure" problem (on all SBIGs) through a combination of hardware and software modifications. We will continue to monitor the cameras' performance.
I'm grateful to those among you who notified us of instances of "shutter failure" you saw in your SBIG images. It was the increase in reports of "shutter failure" a few months ago that triggered us to make a more systematic investigation of the problem.  If observations for your project were significantly affected by SBIG "shutter failure", and if (when your 2016A time allocation is nearly expended) you think you can't achieve the science goal of your project in the time you have remaining, then please let us know. We will do our best to restore some of the time you lost to the "shutter failure" problem. Because the amount of time available is limited, we would appreciate a reasonable estimate for the time you require to meet your science goal.
Several of you have contacted me to ask about the weather. I can confirm that the weather has been generally bad for observing all over the globe! At our Chile site, we estimate that (so far this semester) we've lost 53% of nighttime hours to bad weather. At our Australia site, the percentage is 43%, and at our Texas site, 36%. Unfortunately, bad weather is a problem for which our staff cannot provide a solution.
In the last status report, I mentioned that the ORAC-DR pipeline was stopped. The distinction between ORAC-DR and BANZAI pipeline products will soon be removed from the "Reduction Level" filter in the archive interface , but ORAC-DR data products are still available in the archive. ORAC-DR products are identified by e90 suffixes in their base names. The BANZAI pipeline products have e11 (for quicklook) or e91 (for final) suffixes in their base names. Please consult the description of the data products for a more thorough explanation.
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