Remote Observing Information
Note: If you plan to observe remotely please review the observing policies on remote observing.
Remote Observing from outside the WIY network
As of semester 2012B we are now able to offer remote observing from outside the WIY institutions (previously we could only support remote observations from inside the Wisconsin, Yale or Indiana networks). This means that any observer can observe remotely from virtually anywhere, provided they meet the requirements laid out in the remote observing policies (see below).
Observers wishing to observe remotely from outside the WIY network, must indicate so on the Observing Run Preparation form (submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of your run). If this is the first time observing remotely (or the remote computer/location has changed) you must contact the WIYN Operations Manager (heidis at noao.edu) at least 2 weeks prior to your observing run in order to run a test of remote connectability.
Remote Observing Setup and Instructions
Remote Observing Policies and Procedures
- Any Observer wishing to observe remotely must have oberved at WIYN with the requested instrument at least 1x previously.
- Remote observing must be identified on the Observing Run Preparation Form, which is due 6 weeks prior to the start of a run.
- WIYN recommends remote observing through a VNC or through MAC OSX Screen Sharing and does not support other desktop sharing utilities.
- Observers are required to use Skype or Polycom to connect with the OA on site.
- Observers must understand and acknowledge the risk of remote observing - if the link to the mountain is down they will be unable to observe and may lose observing time. Observatory staff are not obligated to obtain data for the remote observer in such an event unless previous arrangements have been made.
- Observatory personnel have the right to terminate any remote connection in the event of a potential security breach or misuse.
- Observers must supply a telephone number to the OA in case of emergencies or difficulties with network communications.
- For large remote programs, all object coordinates should be entered into a cache at least 1 week prior to the observing run.
- Only 1 person (the WIYN Operations Manager) will be in charge of allowing/disallowing remote access to the observatory
- If any work occurs at the facility that would impede remote observing (e.g. lights on in the dome, work on instruments or instrument computers, etc) during the daytime, the responsible party must notify the remote observer when the work is occurring and provide a contact name/number [the "Stickies" program on wiyn-2 can be used for this].
Prior to Observing Run:
- Observers must schedule a test connection from the intended remote location at least 2 weeks prior to observing run. This should be arranged with the WIYN Operations Manager. Follow-up testing may be conducted as needed.
- After the initial test connection, it is the observer's responsibility to ensure that no change to their local computing environment will affect their connection to WIYN.
During Observing Run:
- Observers are required to "check-in" with the scheduled OA at 4pm MST each day of the remote run.
- A remote observer can login after 1:30pm MST during their run, but can't start "observing" (e.g. doing calibrations) until 4pm MST unless prior arrangements have been made. Access on the first afternoon of an observing run must be arranged in advance with the designated startup support - if there is no designated startup support, access can be arranged with the WIYN Operations Manager.
- If calibrations are required before the OA is on shift, this must be requested in service the previous day.
- Unless approved by the WIYN Operations Manager, video connections via Skype and Polycom are allowed at the sole discretion of the OA on duty (audio is always available).
- Access will be closed at noon of the day following the last night of an observing run.
Last modified: 06-Mar-2014 10:00:40 MST