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ATCA Release notes for 2015APR

ATCA observing: The default observing location for all ATCA observations is the Science Operations Centre (SOC) at the ATNF headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney. Observers no longer have the option of travelling to Narrabri to conduct routine observations. First-time observers are required to observe from the SOC, where they will be supported by the Duty Astronomer (DA) and Operations staff.

The Duty Astronomer role is now based at the SOC, and the DA is required to be present on-site for first-time observers and be contactable at all times, but may provide support from other locations for remote observers (i.e., remote from the SOC). All observers coming to the SOC will be provided with a "Friend" for help both before observations start (e.g., with schedule writing) and after the end of observations (e.g., with data reduction). The Friend(s) allocated to each project is indicated on the schedule summary (AEST or UT) page.

The present annual requirement to observe from the SOC in order to be "remote qualified" will be retained for most observers. Regular, competent observers (typically, people observing on at least three separate occasions or for more than 10 days per semester) can extend the time between their return visits by 6 months.

The Marsfield site has a Lodge which is able to provide on-site accommodation for observers and DAs. Please use this webform to book at least two weeks in advance to ensure a room is available.

ATCA portal: Parkes observers will be familiar with the Parkes PORTAL, a web-based tool for observers that enables the observers to book in advance for observing blocks and to register as the current observer-in-charge, and provinding alerts, contact details, and a improved chat facility over that currently used in the ATCA observing VNC session. A similar portal has been developed for the ATCA, and observers will be required to use it for the 2015APR semester. More details will be available from the ATCA Current Issues webpage and the ATCA User Guide in due course.

Shutdown: A two-week shutdown has been scheduled in May/June for a significant upgrade of the control building switchboard. Observing will not be possible during this time. There is a small possibility the dates for this work will need to be changed: if this eventuates a new version of the schedule will be released and affected observers contacted.

CABB modes: All current CABB modes will be available for the 2015APR semester: (1) the 1MHz continuum ("no zooms") mode, (2) the 1MHz zooms mode (1M-0.5k), with up to 16 zoom bands per IF available, (3) the 64MHz mode (64M-32k), which provides 32 channels of 64MHz bandwidth and up to 16 zoom bands (each having 2048 channels across it) in each IF (4) the "hybrid" mode, with 2048 x 1MHz channels in IF1 (and no zooms) and 32 x 64MHz channels in IF2 (with zooms). (5) the pulsar binning mode. See the CABB webpage for more details. CABB mode changes are mostly routine, except for changes to the 1MHz zoom mode, 64 MHz zoom mode, and hybrid mode, which require approximately one hour: this mode change is done by local staff or suitably trained others. In the graphical version of the schedule the requested CABB mode is shown in the top right corner of each block. The mode "1M*" designates those proposals which requested a different mode (usually the 64MHz mode) but without justification, and so they have been allocated the 1MHz (no zooms) mode.

NAPA Proposals: A number of NAPA (Non A Priori Assignable) proposals have been submitted for ATCA in 2015APR. If triggered, a NAPA proposal may displace a proposal with a lower grade: see the linked page for more details.

Daylight Saving: Daylight saving in New South Wales ends at 3:00am (AEDT) on the first Sunday in April, April 5th 2015, when clocks will be put back one hour. During the daylight saving period, local "clock time" is one hour ahead of AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time), so 7am AEST is 8am daylight saving time. Note that the ATCA schedule is in AEST, so at the start of the 2015APR semester, local time (AEDT) is one hour later than AEST. Daylight saving in New South Wales starts again on the first Sunday in October, Oct 4th 2015 at 2:00am when clocks will be put forward one hour.

Public Holidays: Friday April 3rd is the Easter Good Friday public holiday, and Monday April 6th is Easter Monday public holiday. Monday June 8th is the Queen's Birthday public holiday in NSW.

Version history: Version 1 of the schedule was released on 2015 March 2. Version 2 of the schedule was released on 2015 March 24. Version 3 of the schedule was released on 2015 June 11.

Generated: Phil Edwards (2-mar-2015)