Thursday, October 15, 2015

Phase II updates for 2015-2

** As a reminder, the Phase II deadline is 23 October 2015 **

Tips for Creating your Phase II proposal

Tips for creating your phase II proposal:

When creating your phase II proposal for next semester, there is no need for you to retype all the maximum lunar phases you chose in your phase I proposal. You can instead use version 4.7 of the PIPT to copy the phase values, as described at the bottom of

This new version of the PIPT is now available, and can be downloaded from

You don't have to use this version for submitting your proposal. However, if you are planning to use pools in your proposal, you'll at least have to update to version 4.6 of the PIPT.

If you are a Mac user and have upgraded to El Capitan already, you might notice that the PIPT GUI is rather wonky. This seems to be an issue with Java 6, and upgrading to Java 8 should solve the problem.

Fabry-Perot Status

As already communicated to FP users directly, the coatings of the Medium Resolution MR etalon have unfortunately degraded resulting in significant loss of spectral resolution.  We have removed it from the telescope and are in the process of determining both costs and timescales for repairs - but we do not expect it will be returned to the telescope for several months.

On the positive side, LR is working well, and the HR etalon has been inserted and we are working to commission the dual etalon HR mode in November.  If this effects your program, please contact for more information.

New P4 Policy

There is a new policy on P4 Blocks allowing any accepted program to enter P4 targets to the queue, above their time allocation. These are to be used as filler targets in case we have nothing else available at a given time.  If you are unsure what it means, first read the bits about P4 time in the Intro and Section 11.4 of the and discuss with your Liaison Astronomer. Note that using optional targets in pools is more useful in general.

Block Probability

Before the 2015-2 Semester starts, there will be a new 'Block Probability' number on the Web Manager attached to each active  Phase II block.  The intention is to indicate roughly the chances of a block getting done.  The number takes into account Moon phase and Seeing constraints, the 'Observability' i.e. how tight the requested track is within its visibility window, and Competition from all other Blocks in that same window taking into account their Priorities.  Note that in case of multiple visits the number refers to the binomial probability of finishing *all* the requested visits taking into account the available tracks over the semester.

The system is live, so you can see the effects when e.g. changing seeing and lunar phase constraints.  It also means that the numbers before at least the great majority of Phase II blocks are active do not mean much since the competition calculation will be unrealistic.

Disclaimer: This is our first stab at providing this functionality and
it may still contain bugs. Please let us know if you think your nubmers
are showing anomalous behaviour.

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