WIYN 0.9m Safety Procedures

What to do in a fire/medical emergency:


Know locations of all fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are located throughout the observatory.

Fire alarm pull boxes
There are 2 fire alarm pull boxes on the lower level.

Know locations of emergency exits

Know location of the first aid kit
There is only one first aid kit located just inside the control room above the water cooler. It contains bandages, rubber gloves and a CPR mask.

What to do when the fire alarm sounds
If the fire alarm in the 0.9m building sounds, shutdown the telescope as quickly and safely as possible. Leave the building, taking the radio with you, and wait for further instruction. If a fire alarm is going off elsewhere on the mountain, listen to the radio for further instruction.

Who to call in a medical emergency

During daytime hours call extension 8777. If there is not an immediate answer, DO NOT HANG UP. This rings a sequence of extensions until a responsible person is reached. Advise the person of the nature of the emergency and state your name and location. You can also dial extension 8721 (this is a radio patch; hit # to disconnect).

After hours contact an Observing Tech at either the WIYIN 3.5m (extension 8760) or 4m (extension 8620). If no Observing Tech can be immediately located, dial extension 8721 (this is a radio patch; hit # to disconnect).


Always exercise caution when working with cryogens. A face shield, ear protection and gloves are located on the observing level for your protection. The site manager will review proper cryogen handling procedures with you. Be sure to follow the Material Safety Data Sheet guidelines on handling liquid nitrogen. The MSDS sheets can be found on the wall above the large liquid nitrogen storage container.

Liquid and dry nitrogen are stored in the loading dock area. This area is equipped with an exhaust fan to ensure proper ventilation. This fan should remain on when doors to the area are closed or when filling the dewar.

Safety around the telescope area

Know locations of all Emergency Stops

There are three physical emergency stops.

Dome cameras

Two cameras are located in the dome. At the beginning of the night and whenever large slews are made, check the dome to make sure no one is in the dome and the telescope area is clear of obstructions.

Motion detector

For your safety, a motion detector is also located in the dome beneath the upper stairwell. The sensor will trip if anyone is walking near the telescope. If the sensor is tripped, you will not be able to slew the telescope until the sensor has been reset.

Moving platform

The platform beneath the telescope moves up/down. Before moving the platform make sure the area below and above are clear of obstructions. The platform should be left stowed at it's lower limit during the night.

Notice: you will not be able to slew the telescope if the platform is raised.

Windscreen controls

Use caution when operating the windscreen. The dome slip rings (yellow rings) are located just below the controls and carry high voltages.

When working in the environment

General mountain safety guidelines


All other issues and concerns should be directed to the WIYN 0.9m site manager at extension 8460.