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2012B Observing Tool development plans

Since mid-2011 Gemini has been executing a major software project to improve the Phase I and Phase II user tools. The background and priorities are described in the December 2011 GeminiFocus. So far the project has added automated guide star selection for GMOS-N and GMOS-S and automatic GCAL calibration settings to the 2012A Observing Tool (OT), rewritten the 2012B Phase I Tool (PIT), and is updating the software used by the ITAC. The 2012B Observing Tool will be the culmination of the first stage of this project. The major features planned for the 12B OT include: 

  • Automated guide star selection for most instruments and wavefront sensors using the algorithms used by the 2012B PIT
  • Improved initial program "skeleton" creation using all the instrument configuration information from the 2012B PIT proposal
    • Template "blueprint libraries" for all instrument modes will be included automatically
    • The templates will be filled in with instrument configuration details such as filters and slits defined at Phase I
    • The templates will also contain the targets/conditions that are associated with them

Completion of the 2012B Phase II process will involve these steps:

  • Fill out target-independent sequence details such as individual exposure times, basic sequence organization, and configuring details not covered in the Phase I process. GCAL calibrations settings are automatically updated as the configurations change.
  • Iterate with NGO contacts to finalize the blueprint templates
  • Apply the blueprints to the targets, creating complete observations
  • Make any target-specific changes. Guide stars can be selected automatically.
  • Submit observations for final checks and execution

There will a way to re-apply the blueprints and either update the existing observations or create new ones. It will still be possible to create observations in the traditional way using the OT libraries or previous programs.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Bryan Miller.