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2.6. Pre-observation Checklist

Ready to observe? Check that all the following tasks have been done:

  • Determined sources to use for:

    • Delay calibrator

    • Flux density calibrator

    • Bandpass calibrator

    • Gain calibrator(s)

    • Pointing calibrator(s) (only if doing reference pointing)

    • Polarisation calibrator(s) (only if doing polarisation studies)

  • Checked that all sources are visible during allocated time.

  • Contacted your observing friend if assistance is required to prepare your schedules.

  • Prepared a schedule file using the CABB web scheduler for:

    • Array setup

    • Calibration

    • Science observations

  • Used the sensitivity calculator to make sure that integration time on calibrators is sufficient.

  • Ensured that turret movements are limited to once every 15 minutes or longer.

  • Generated a mosaic pointing file (only if doing mosaic observations), and copied it to the appropriate place on xbones.

  • Generated an ephemeris for the solar system object (only if doing solar system observations), and copied it to the appropriate place on xbones.

  • Calculated how much data the observations will generate, and obtained enough disk space to accommodate this.

  • Checked for possible problems, and made contingency plans for:

    • Antenna shadowing

    • Wrong time range for flux density calibrator observations

    • Bad weather forecast during observations

  • Checked current issues page for issues that may cause problems with the observations.

  • Checked that remote observations are permitted (only if remotely observing).

  • Contacted observatory staff and duty astronomer if assistance will be required during observations.