NOTE: All observers will be introduced to this software by their support scientist.
UIST observing programmes are run from the UKIRT “Querie Tool”, or “QT”. The observer at the summit uses the QT to access, sort and extract observations from the database (observations previously prepared in the OT; discussed on the previous page). Briefly, the QT allows the user to select observations based on their “observability”, i.e. using constraints such as seeing, photometric requirements, dryness and of course source accessibility. A copy of the QT screen is shown below.
An observing programme will comprise a list of “Minimum Schedulable Blocks”, or MSBs. For example, a flat, arc, standard star and source observation might constitute an MSB, since these represent the mimimum amount of data needed for the calibration of an IFU/spectroscopic observation. By entering the semester or a specific project ID in the QT (this is usually the project PATT number, e.g. u/03a/99), a list of MSBs can be displayed in the bottom half of the QT window. MSBs may then be selected and their components (individual observations of, in our example, the flat, arc, standard star and source) displayed on a second tab in the QT window, as shown below.
Once an MSB has been selected, it can be sent to a second window, the “Queue Manager”. Here the individual observations in the MSB are queued, ready for execution. With the queue running, each observation will be sent automatically to a third window, the “Sequence Console” (shown below).
The “Sequence Console” will show the individual steps of the observation (the slew to the source, the configuration of the instrument, and the actual observations intersperced with jitters around the array or slides along the slit). A typical console window is shown below. With an observation loaded into this third window, the observer is finally ready to take data…
A more general guide to using the OMP is available elsewhere.