Guidelines for AAT Observers
A "Must-do" Checklist
Use only the WWW travel
form (see below) to make bookings and keep us
informed of your plans.
All observers must read the Safety Guidelines (see
below for a summary).
Make contact with your support astronomer well in advance of your run.
Prepare a short description of your program for the "Tonight
at the AAT" page (see below).
Fill out your Observer's
Report Form (see below) at the end of your
A night assistant and technical support are always provided at the telescope.
A support astronomer (noted on the schedule) is available to advise on
your observations, and will assist at the telescope if required. He or
she will usually contact you a month or so before your observing run. If
you wish to contact them ahead of time, you can append aaoepp.aao.gov.au
to the name on the schedule to obtain an use the e-mail (ie if your support
astronomer is GFL, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
Travel, Accommodation & Arriving at the AAT
Accommodation in Sydney, travel to and from the telescope, and accommodation
at the telescope should be booked using WWW forms available at http://www.aao.gov.au/travelform.html.
General travel information can be obtained at http://www.aao.gov.au/travel.html.
Changes to your travel should be arranged with our Travel Officer (email@example.com).
We particularly ask observers to use only this form to make accommodation
bookings at the telescope. Observers can make their own arrangements elsewhere,
but again we ask that you use the form to let us know what those arrangements
A study desk, torch/flashlight, and AAT keycard will be allocated for
your use at the telescope. If you arrive at night, the AAT building will
be locked (though the ANU Lodge will not). You may phone the night assistant
from the entrance to request admission to pick up your keycard.
The visitor accounts system for the computers at the AAT has been changed
within the last year. Observers will now find guidelines on their study
desks on obtaining a visitor account and password from Rhonda Martin at
Reception, when they arrive at the AAT. Observers arriving after hours
will have the relevant information left on their study desks for them.
You are strongly encouraged to arrive at the telescope one
day prior to your observing run. The trip from Sydney can be a long one,
and may not leave sufficient time to set-up for your run if you arrive
on the day your run starts. This problem is even worse for instruments
requiring complex set-ups like 2dF and TTF.
If your required set-up changes from that which you originally proposed,
it is essential that you contact your support astronomer (see schedule),
and the AAT scheduler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
to inform them of the change. Significant changes made at the last minute
may be difficult, or impossible, for the telescope staff to accommodate.
2dF observers should thoroughly familiarize themselves with the 2dF documentation
available on the WWW at http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/2df,
including the 2dF Manual, Information for Observers and a list of Frequently
Asked Questions. 2dF is a very complex instrument! As experience
with it develops we are developing a list of Frequently Made Mistakes,
which will also be available from the 2dF WWW page, and which we encourage
observers to read. You should liaise with your support astronomer before
your run if there is anything which is unclear. Because of the complexity
of 2dF set-ups, it is essential you are ready to begin work by 4 hours
before dark on the day of your run. For this reason 2dF observers must
always arrive at the telescope on the day before. Many problems can be
fixed if they are caught the day before observing starts!
TTF observers should similarly examine the AAO TTF WWW pages. Set ups for
TTF are complex, and should be commenced as early as possible in the afternoon.
observers are strongly urged to arrive at the telescope the day before
Seeing measurements are made on a few occasions each the night, causing
interruptions of several minutes. We ask observers to be patient with this
small loss of time.
Every observer should fill out an
Observer's Report Form (http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/feedback/surveyform.html)
at the end of their last night. The information provided in these forms
is vital to the continued improvement in the Observatory's facilities.
You are encouraged to bring your own data tapes, as AAO tapes will be charged
for at A$15 each.
Observers must also pay for their overseas telephone calls. Please settle
debts with Rhonda Martin in the AAT Reception; the AAO accepts VISA, MASTERCARD
and BANKCARD. These charges are separate from the accommodation
charges payable to the ANU Lodge.
The Time Allocation Committees can award time to over-ride programs. The
guidelines under which these programs operate can be found at http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/sll/applications/override.html.
No one scheduled program can be over-ridden for more than 3 hours without
Safety at the AAT
The following is excerpted from the Safety Guidelines which every observer
will find on their desk when the arrive at the AAT. Observers must
follow these guidelines at all times.
Admission to areas of the AAT building above Floor 2 is allowed
only with the permission of an observatory staff member. Only the current
observers should be at the control room level. No-one (observers
included!) may enter the dome at night without the knowledge and
approval of the night assistant, whether to check the instrument or the
weather etc. Everyone entering the dome at night must collect a torch/flashlight
and carry it with them at all times. Anyone unfamiliar with the telescope
or dome should ask for a 5 minute orientation tour. Please ensure that
your colleagues appreciate these requirements.
Visits and Talks at Epping
We encourage observers to visit the AAO Laboratory in Epping, Sydney. In
particular, we encourage visitors to present colloquia -- please contact
Elizabeth Corbett (email@example.com)
if you would like to give us a talk. Facilities available include a library,
PCs and UNIX workstations running STARLINK, FIGARO, IDL, and IRAF software.
Let us know your plans.
Tonight at the AAT
For the last year or so, the Observatory has been providing a very popular
WWW page for the public, providing details on the programs being carried
out each night. Successful proposers are required to contribute a short
description of their program as soon as possible (even if your run is towards
the end of the semester). For examples of the style to adopt, please see
A template file is available at http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/dfm/projects/template.html.
For those challenged by HTML, please provide a text file with your PATT/ATAC
reference number, dates, full names of observers and some descriptive text.
The description should be self-contained and no longer than ~250 words,
and bear in mind it is for a general audience -- the initial target was
casual visitors to the AAT Visitor's gallery. Please include as many html
links as you see fit (see http://www.aao.gov.au/local/www/dfm/projects/definitions.html
for regularly used terms) and feel free to recycle previous text from earlier
allocations of time.
Preprints and Reprints
It is important that we maintain complete records of publications based
on AAT and UKST observations. Please send two copies of preprints and reprints
of published and conference papers to the Epping librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org
). We also request an acknowledgement to the AAO in any publications which
result from use of the facilities.
Observer's awarded time with a Visitor Instrument are encouraged to examine
for Visitor Instruments (http://www.aao.gov.au/visitor_inst/wwwvisitor.html)
to ensure their instrument arrives in time for their run to go smoothly.
©Anglo-Australian Observatory 1998, PO Box 296, Epping
NSW 1710 Australia
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Geraint F. Lewis, AAT Scheduler