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Archive of Hot News 2000 - 2011

PIT Hot News 2000 - 2011

1 September 2011
The 2012A PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT:
    • Allow closing one of multiple proposals from the window manager without exiting
    • Ask to save any changes when closed using the window manager
    • Return to the splash screen after the last proposal is closed using the window manager
    • Updated CA institutions
    • Added AU NGO style sheet
    • Add PPMXL guide star query
    • Update resources for 2012A
    • Ordered guide star magnitudes by wavelength
  2. Bug Fixes:
    • Non-sidereal target dates and times are now saved correctly in UT
    • Fixed 2MASS catalog query
    • Removed GSC-2@STScl and GSC@CADC catalogs

 

28 February 2011
The 2011B PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT:
    • The Cloud Cover 90%-tile bin has been replaced with an 80%-tile bin corresponding to 1 magnitude of extinction. The ITCs have been updated accordingly.
    • UCAC3 guide star catalog queries return the optical UCmag
    • The addresses of some Australian institutions have been updated
  2. Procedure changes
    • PIs proposing for DD and poor weather time for the remainder of 2011A must continue to use the 2011A PIT.

 

1 September 2010
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2011A release of PIT includes the following modifications:

Enhancements to PIT
  • UCAC3 guide star catalog queries have been added
  • FMOS has been added as a Subaru instrument
  • Installation on OS X now uses a disk image instead of an installation script
  • The PIT now uses Java 6, the currently supported version from Oracle. This change will be transparent to most users. However, the new PIT will not run on PowerPC Macintosh computers since Apple does not provide Java 6 for these machines. Also, users who either have first generation, 32bit, Intel Macs (Core Duo CPU from Jan - Sept 2006) or use OS X 10.4 (Tiger) on newer Macs will need to upgrade the OS to version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) in order to obtain Java 6. Gemini also provides a Linux virtual machine with the OT and PIT installed that will run on these older Intel Macs.

 

26 February 2010
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2010Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

Enhancements to PIT
  • The Band 3 tab has been updated for improved clarity. Before submission you must select whether the proposal should be considered for inclusion in Band 3 if an allocation cannot be given in Bands 1 or 2.
  • Text words limits for the abstract (200 word) and science and technical justifications (1000 words) are now enforced at submission. The proposal cannot be submitted if the word limits are exceeded.
  • Checks have been added to prevent the submission of proposals with 0 requested time.
  • Instrument resources have been updated, including the addition of Z and Y filters for GMOS-N.
Bug fixes
  • The GSC2@STScI guide star query has been fixed

 

26 August 2009
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2010Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Flamingos 2 instrument components and guide star search parameters added for any future System Verification call. Note that Flamingos 2 is in commissioning and is not offered for general use in 2010A.
    • Added new Subaru instruments for consistency with the expanded exchange time program.

 

23 February 2009
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2009Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Updated GMOS resources
    • Institution lists updated
    • Gemini submission help updated
    • Target coordinate checks are not done for Demo Science, Poor Weather, System Verification, and Director's time proposals
  2. Bug fixes
    • Fixed RA/Dec limits for regular (Phase I) coordinate checks.

 

22 August 2008
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2009Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Each investigator can provide profesional status, this allows the easy identification of all proposals related to theses.
    • A backend server has been added for proposals from Keck proposers for Gemini time.
    • A redesigned interface for the Submit tab.
    • Improved constraint checks for the Band 3 tab.
    • Updated instrument resources
    • Default director for open and save is the users home directory or the last directory used.
    • Updated PIT help
  2. Bug fixes
    • Non-sidereal target coordinate entry improved

 

18 February 2008
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2008Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • The proposal checks will compare the target coordinates with the windows of optimum visibility for the semester and give appropriate warnings.
    • Updated instrument resources
    • Updated PIT help

 

31 August 2007
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2008Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • The Band 3 tab includes an entry box for the total requested time in Band 3 (in case this differs from the standard request) as well as the minimum required Band 3 execution time.
    • There are new submission options on the Submit tab for accepting different types of special proposals (poor weather, DD, DS, SV).
    • Updated instrument resources
    • Updated PIT help

 

05 May 2007
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2007B.05release of PIT includes the following modifications to support the special call for proposals:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Phoenix has been added to the Gemini South resource list
  2. Bug fixes
    • Classical proposals may be submitted with observing conditions that are not 'Any'.

 

26 February 2007
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2007Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • A tab for entering considerations in case the program should end up in ranking band 3
    • Classical programs must provide all observing conditions constraints and if good conditions are requested (better than IQ=85% and CC=70%, or WV=80%) must provide information about bad weather backup plans as an attachment to the scientific justification
    • For a given proposal, only one telescope (Gemini North, Gemini South, Keck, or Subaru) may be chosen in the resources section
    • Refined guide star selection algorithms. The algorithms have been updated to match the 2007A OT and various problems have been resolved.
    • Queue programs with timing contraints (e.g. coordinated observations with other telescopes, limited numbers of observing windows) should give these constraints in the scheduling tab.
    • There are now two "Target is guide star" options, one for NICI and one for the facility AO system (Altair).
    • User interface improvements
      • New guide star assistant
      • Arrows for re-ordering the co-investigator list
      • The Mac version uses standard Mac key bindings
    • PIT help updated

 

30 August 2006
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2007Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • User interface improvements
    • Target of Opportunity mode (Standard or Rapid Response) selection
    • Refined guide star selection algorithms for NIFS and Altair. Altair AOWFS is now called Altair NGS. A new Altair LGS algorithm is for finding tip/tilt guide stars to be used with the laser AO beacon.
    • General Target is Guide Star WFS algorithm for copying target information to a WFS component
    • New UK NGO style sheet option
    • USNO-B guide star catalog query added
    • PIT help updated.

 

21 February 2006
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2006Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Subaru added as a partner for the Gemini/Subaru time share.
    • Instrument resources updated for 2006B: MOIRCS and Suprime-Cam on Subaru; NICI, Flamingos-2, and TEXES added for future Campaign, SV and Demo Science observations (not available in the regular 2006B Call for Proposals).
    • New option for creating a PDF version of the proposal summary. Style options for Gemini, NOAO, and the Chilean NGO are available.
    • Postscript attachments (.ps and .eps files) are no longer supported so that the PDF export option will work reliably. It is recommended that postscript figures be converted to PDF before attaching.

 

31 August 2005
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2006Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Proposed observations can be checked to see whether potentially duplicate datasets are in the Gemini Science Archive of the same target (RA,dec tolerance of 30 arcsec) and same instrument (but not necessarily the same instrument configuration).
    • The RA and dec units must now be explicitly set as either hr/min/sec or decimal degrees (RA) and deg/arcmin/arcsec or decimal degrees (dec). The internal units are h:m:s and deg:arcmin:arcsec and converted for display.
    • Previous data status information (reduced, analysed, published etc) and related proposal details are now included in the proposal summary.
    • Instrument resources updated for 2006A: bHROS added, GNIRS gratings updated, added Altair field lens; NICI, NIFS and TEXES added for future Campaign, SV and Demo Science observations (not available in the regular 2006A Call for Proposals).
    • New option for submitting Demo Science (including campaign) and SV proposals to a separate server at Gemini.
    • Several new keywords added.

 

26 February 2005
Improvements in the new PIT release
: the 2005Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Added field for status of previous Gemini data to new "allocations" tab (reduced, analysed, published etc), which combines previous allocation details with another new field, related proposals submitted to other telescopes. The relevant on-line help pages are updated.
    • Partner lead scientist(s) of joint proposals are highlighted in the proposal summary (above the PI details)
    • Improved legibility of (HTML) partner summary table (smaller font - may actually be slightly less legible in PIT but better in browsers and hardcopy!). Note that a PDF summary will be added to supplement the HTML summary, allowing inclusion of figures and other attachments in a single document, in the 06A release.
    • Summary corrected to list only the instrument resources that are used. User interface modified to open automatically the instrument details for the selected instrument.
    • Instrument resources updated for 2005B: GMOS-S added H(alpha), H(alpha) continuum and [SII] filters; GNIRS updated 0.675 arcsec slit and added grating orders

 

26 August 2004
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2005Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Submission of all joint proposals now done in single-step to multiple partner backend servers. All partners can now receive electronic submission of proposals.
    • Instrument resources updated for 2005A: Michelle added echelle and updated filters and slits; GNIRS added R=18000 grating and IFU, updated slits; added Hokupa'a-85 (use is contingent on demonstration of performance, see Call for Proposals for definitive details) and corresponding AOWFS algorithm ; T-ReCS updated filters; GMOS-N removed u filter; added HIRES (on Keck) for Gemini/Keck time exchange

 

25 February 2004
Improvements in the new PIT release: the2004Brelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Instrument resources updated for 2004B: GNIRS added, IFU nod-and-shuffle slits added for GMOS-South, Michelle gratings added and filters updated; NIRI filters updated
    • Additional checking from the "Check Proposal" button on the "Submit" tab. Now checks that classical proposals have "any" listed as the observing conditions for image quality, cloud cover and water vapour, that guide stars are brighter (than 13mag) if cloud cover is 90%-ile or poorer and that the default ("any") observing conditions or example proposal are not submitted accidentally.
    • Word count added to abstract and to scientific and technical justifications.

 

29 August 2003
Improvements in the new PIT release: the 2004Arelease of PIT includes the following modifications:

  1. Bug Fixes
    • Gemini North or Gemini South telescopes would occasionally be left in the instrument resources even though there was no corresponding instruments.
    • HTML summary previously would lose the first character of the last line in a text field if the previous line ended with a carriage return.
  2. Enhancements to PIT
    • Guide star algorithms for Altair AO and chopping whilst using Peripheral WFS added.
    • Instrument resources updated for 2004A.

 

27 February 2003
Improvements in the 2003B PIT release: this releaseincludes the following modifications suggested by representatives of the National Gemini Offices:

  1. Enhancements to PIT
    • Added checkbox on investigator page to identify "Principal Contact" (PC) of joint proposals. Joint proposals (submitted to multiple National TACs) must have one (and only one) Principal Contact. The Principal Contact need not be the Principal Investigator. (PIT checks that there is exactly one PC if multiple partners are selected on the submit tab).
    • Instrument resources updated for 2003B.
    • Internal designation of image quality percentile bands made consistent with values in GUI and public Observing Tool.

 

1 September 2002
Improvements in the 2003A PIT release: this releaseincludes the following modifications suggested by PIT users and/orrepresentatives of the National Gemini Offices:

  1. Bug Fixes
    • Previous allocations could not always be read correctly from a file and format of GUI was corrupted.
    • Corrected PI status so that "GradNoThesis" is a valid status.
  2. Enhancements to PIT
    • Image quality bands changed from [20%, 50%, 80%, Any] to [20%, 70%, 85%, Any] to reduce sensitivity to underlying distribution (50% was at the peak, by definition). Specific values in arcsec have also been adjusted for currently observing seeing distributions - see the observing condition constraints for details.
    • Added check that total time requested is non zero to the built-in verification.
    • Instrument resources updated for 2003A.
    • Updated URLs of guide star catalogues in catalogue assistant.
    • Gamma ray bursts added to extragalactic keywords.

 

18 February 2002
Improvements in the 2002B PIT release: this releaseincludes the following modifications suggested by PIT users and/orrepresentatives of the National Gemini Offices:

  1. Bug Fixes
    • Proposal verification no longer fails if the Default Resources are deleted provided that every observation has override resources.
  2. Enhancements to PIT
    • The time requested must now be entered explicitly by the applicants. Previously the time summed over all observations was used and was not editable. (This is still available as a guide). This simplifies requesting different or partial allocations from an NTAC when the same proposal is submitted to multiple NTACs for joint support.
    • Support for PIT users whose machines connect to the internet via a proxy server is now available from the file menu. (See more information on proxy settings).
    • An "update" feature has been added to streamline future software distribution. It is intended that in future semesters only the changed modules, and not the entire software package, will need to be downloaded. At present this will probably either do nothing (Windows) or dump diagnostic info to stdout (Solaris, Linux).
    • Publications and previous time allocations may be loaded from files. See the PIT publications help page for file formats.
    • Summary of instrument resources for the whole program and for each observation added on the observations/resources page. See the PIT observation resources help page for details.
    • Tab added to scheduling page to justify optimal dates for scheduling.
    • Previous allocations reinstated in HTML summary.

 

31 August 2001
Improvements in the 2002A PIT release: this releaseincludes the following modifications suggested by PIT users and/orrepresentatives of the National Gemini Offices:

  1. Bug Fixes
    • Can select the same institution from the drop-down menu for consecutive co-Is.
    • Corrected instance of context-sensitive help pointing to wrong page.
    • Save button on text pages (abstract, scientific and technical justification, target list, TAC) now writes text file by default, reducing possibility of over-writing entire XML proposal with contents of that page's text box.
    • Corrected one-day mismatch between the optimal or impossible dates as specified by the user and as reported in the HTML summary
  2. Enhancements to PIT
    • Resources (e.g. instrument configurations) are now defined and used similar to observing constraints. A 'global default' configuration applies to all observations in the proposed science program. This may be overridden for one or more observations; each can have its own instrument configuration. (See the PIT resources help page for more details).
    • Format of HTML summary tidied up; when printed, the first page now includes all of the key information concerning the proposal. Now includes NTAC comments (if available).
    • New or significantly modified help pages:
    • GeminiData.xml file updated with 2002A instrument resources.

 

11 February 2001
Improvements in the 2001B.0 PIT release: this release of PIT includes the following modifications suggested by PIT users and/orrepresentatives of the National Gemini Offices:

  1. Bug Fixes
    • Overriding default observing condition constraint set now puts correct reference in XML file.
    • PWFS (or OIWFS, guide star) stars selected automatically by the catalog search assistant can now be overridden.
    • The symbols >, < and & can be used in text (title, abstract, science and tech justification).
    • The symbol & can be used in figure attachments (e.g. 'Figure 1 & 2').
    • PWFS stars for objects with dec = -00:mm:ss.s are now correct. This was a problem with the CADC server; ESO and Gemini servers gave correct results.
    • The TAC-recommended time box no longer shrinks to narrow width when TAC comments extend beyond the visible page and generate a scroll bar.
    • Proposals with non-sidereal objects in the observation list no longer hang the HTML summary and (in the Solaris version) give a Java error.
  2. Enhancements to PIT
    • Information concerning the other partner countries is now collected for proposals seeking joint support: check boxes for the names of the additional partners and added collection of the total time requested from all partners. This information is reported in the top section of the HTML summary.
    • The co-ordinates for targets newly created in PIT must be given in the J2000 frame. Formatted text files with targets may still contain B1950 co-ordinates; these are now precessed to J2000 on-the-fly. Consequently the catalogue search assistant will find available guide stars for all targets.
    • The "integration time" has been re-labelled as "integration time + overheads" on the observation page for each new target to emphasise that overheads must be included.
    • The source brightness field is now included when an external target list is saved or loaded to a file.
    • The partner-recommended time (on the TAC page) includes a minimum recommended time to provide additional flexibility when constructing the schedule.
    • For clarity, "guide star" was removed from the list of allowable wavefront sensors, leaving (Peripheral) "Wave Front Sensor" and "On-Instrument Wavefront Sensor" (including adaptive optics wavefront sensor) as the options.
    • Additional catalogue search assistant algorithm added for GMOS on-instrument wavefront sensor.
    • GeminiData.xml file update with 2001B instrument resources.
  3. New Software
    • A standalone script has been added that checks the Solaris operating system version and the require patches.
    • Connectivity to the guidestar catalogue servers can now be verified using a web form. Testing of the connection to their back-end reception and processor systems has been added by the UK (Canada & Australia?). The back-end system provides verification of proposal submission (see more details on the UK support page).
  4. Typographical Corrections in PIT
    • "Principle Investigator" replaced with "Principal Investigator" on the PIT summary page.
    • Gemini South added to the list of institutions.
    • Institute of Astronomy (University of Hawaii) corrected to Institute for Astronomy.
    • University of Oxford postal code corrected to OX1 3RH.
    • HIA postal code updated to V9E 2E7.

 

12 March 2000
Improvements in the 2001A.0 PIT release: this releaseincludes the following modifications suggested by PIT users and/or representatives of theNational Gemini Offices:

  • HTML summary now correctly recognises paragraph breaks in text and formats the output
  • Speed of HTML summary generation has been improved dramatically; overall program execution speed improved
  • Automatic search for AOWFS and NIRI (f/14 camera) OIWFS stars is included; WFS patrol fields updated
  • Collect additional information to help technical assessment (especially target flux, WFS brightness and separation; the latter two are collected automatically from the guide star catalog server) and reported in the HTML summary
  • Augment the pre-submission verification and expand the feedback when PIT verification is run (now checks details of observations, file attachments)
  • Further develop the help pages and add a beginner's Cookbook
  • Tidy up the terminology when talking about WFS guide stars
  • Update the GeminiDatan.xml file that contains the current semester dates and instrument resources etc.