To: AAT Users
From: AAO Director
Subject: AAT Scheduling
Date: 1 September 2001
In line with the strategies identified in the AAO of the Future and the implementation plan supported by the AAT Board at their March 2001 meeting, the AAO needs to reduce the cost of operating the telescopes by a factor of two by 2006.
Although the major reduction in operational support will be phased in over the period 2004-06, there will be an impact on the AAO operations before then as the AAO diverts resources into essential telescope infrastructure-upgrade programs.
Beginning in Semester 02A, the AAO will therefore need to start making the changes to operations that will ensure the AAT can evolve into its new mode with no loss of, or disruption to, its scientific productivity. The changes outlined below are designed to provide users with new opportunities to embark on longer scientific programs well suited to the AAT's instrumentation suite and the Siding Spring site.
Following advice received from the ATAC, PATT, and AAO Users' Committee, the following scheduling arrangements will apply with effect from the beginning of Semester 02A:
The AAO facility-class instruments are currently AAOmega + 2dF, AAOmega + SPIRAL, IRIS2, and UCLES/UHRF. The AAO will make every effort to schedule all successful 3- or 4-night programs within these instrument blocks (including Service time).
Short programs (less than 3 nights) will only be supported if they can be scheduled with other programs requesting similar instrument set-up. Major changes to an instrument set-up include detector changes, and AAOmega grating or dichroic changes.
This includes WFI, CIRPASS and SemelPol. All applicants proposing to use any of these instruments are required to discuss their proposed program with the Director prior to the submission deadline each semester.
All instruments (including visitor instruments) must now be awarded in total at least one week of time in any one semester, in order to be scheduled on the telescope.