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La Silla - Science Operations

Service Observing: Phase II

Service Observations, Director Discretionary Time, and Target of Opportunity:

Phase II preparation
-Period 81-

version 81.0 2008-01-30: updated info for P81. isaviane

Warning: This page is for Period 81 only (starting April 1st, 2007). For Programs to be executed during Period 80 (including DDT and ToO), please refer to the instructions for that period.

SofI, EFOSC2,  HARPS Full Phase II required, follow instructions on this page. Dead line for submission of the Information Package is Thursday, 14 February 2008, at 12:00 Central European Time 
WFI, FEROS Supported by USD, follow their general and WFI- and FEROS-specific instructions



This document is designed to guide you through the Phase II of your Service Observations (SO) at La Silla for Period 81.

Service Programs on WFI and FEROS on ESO/MPI 2.2m get support from the User Support Department; for these programs, you should refer to the generic Phase II at VLT and WFI page, to the WFI-specific page and links therein. All the other La Silla instruments are covered in here.

Most of this document is also relevant for Director Discretionary Time (DDT) and, in some cases, for Target of Opportunity (ToO) observations. 

This document is not valid for P.80 and anterior (P.79 info). Changes from the previous period are in bold face; if you are a usual customer of La Silla SM, look for these.

Phase II Philosophy

During this Phase II, you will prepare all the observations to be executed for your program. The observations are defined using "Observation Blocks" (OBs). Each OB specifies an individual observing sequence that can --and should-- be scheduled and executed completely without interruption. OBs can specify simple operations like "acquire one R-band image with EMMI" as well as complex operations like "Preset the telescope, identify the star and move it to the 0.6" slit, and obtain a sequence of jittered spectra in the K band through the low resolution grism, then another sequence of jittered spectra in the J band" with SofI. This preparation is performed using the P2PP tool (more below).

In addition to the OBs, you will have to prepare finding charts for each of your OBs, and to write up a README file describing your strategy. All these informations, which constitute your "Information Package" are to be submitted to the La Silla Science Operation (SciOp), which will review them. Accepted OBs are queued for scheduling, while rejected OBs will be returned to you, and must be corrected and re-submitted before scheduling can begin. The instrument scientist (IS) is responsible for this process. Don't hesitate to contact him for any question related to the strategy of your observations, or their implementation in OBs: an iteration at this stage can save a lot of time and headache at a later time. The name and email of the IS can be found in the La Silla SciOps pages. If you don't receive a reply within a couple of days, re-send your message to lasilla@eso.org: it can happen that SciOp astronomers cannot access their email, but lasilla is checked several times every day.

Service Modes

Various flavors of Service Observing are available. The type of Service Mode applicable for your program is indicated in the message you have (or soon will) receive.

Schedule & Dead-Line


Priorities and Classes

The VLT and WFI have different classes of programs (A, B, C) of different priorities. This is not the case at La Silla (except WFI and FEROS). Basically, all programs start with the same priority. All other constraints being equal, a started program has priority over a non-started program. At the end of the period, all programs are closed, and the remaining OBs are generally not carried over to the next period.

Phase II Preparation.

The PIs of all Service Observation programs must complete the following steps:

Please remark that most of the policies and special procedures defined for Paranal are also valid for La Silla. In case of doubt or question, contact lasilla@eso.org

Sorry to be so directive, but this is the only way for us to get all the information we need to execute your observations.

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