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DA Checklist

Remember, being a Duty Astronomer does not mean that you have to know everything. If you are out of your depth, or unsure of what to do, please contact the "On Call" person. Please don't let a problem go on too long before calling for help.
See DA Duties Pages for information on the DA duties.
  • Personal Safety: We care about safety. Please make sure that you and all SOC visitors have completed the Marsfield Online Safety Induction and the Working Alone Authorisation Form (if working alone).
  • General Information:
  • Antenna Safety:
    • Under what circumstances should you stow the telescope i.e. wind and storm limits?
    • Can you stow the antennas?
  • Records and call up procedures:
  • Storms/Generators:
    • Do you know how to check for storms?
    • Do you know what to do in event of a storm? When do you turn a generators on? Off? (See here for more information.)
  • Forms and the like: Do you know about and how to use the following forms:
  • Observing stuff:
    • Do you know the current VNC password?
    • Can you (re)start the xbones and cabb VNC sessions? (probably get operations help)
    • Can you start and drive CAOBS, CACOR, ASSISTANCE, VIS, monica and sched?
    • Have you started Monica on your computer - and have you checked that you have the permissions set up so that it works off site (if you are supporting obs off site). See the Monica documentation for downloading and setting up. There are many useful Monica pages (all of them have some uses)include:
    • Do you know the recommended observing frequencies?
    • CABB Questions
      • Do you know that you should NOT reconfigure the correlator without appropriate training - Operations staff will leave the correlator in modes appropriate for observations (as best we can tell) or train the DA for any necessary changes. If in doubt, check with Operations staff.
      • Do you know how to check the sampler levels, when they need to be reset and how to do this?
        Note: Interference in the 16cm band has become so bad, that the sampler levels are often not stable enough to make the levels close to 20
      • Do you know how to check the value of delavg, when it should be changed, how to change it, and how to work out the appropriate value to set it to?
      • Do you know how to set appropriate channel ranges for setting up?
      • Do you know how to flag self-generated interference?
      • Do you know how to flag other interference - and that you are generally better to limit the channel range rather than flag out channels completely?
      • Do you know how to check and set the focus - and when this needs to be done?
      • Do you know how to calibrate the delays - and that it should not be done if the delays are not stable?
      • Do you know when it's appropriate to point - and how do to this?
      • Do you know how to calibrate the amplitudes? How is this different at 3mm
      • Do you know to check the Tsys values that are determined by the amplitude calibration? When are these values be an indication that something is wrong?
      • Do you know how to calibrate the phases?
    • Have you checked the proposals to ensure that you understand what is involved in observing while you are Duty Astronomer?
    • Have you checked for remote observing, and do you know what you have to do to support them?
    • Do you know how to contact the observers? Do the observers know how to contact you?
  • 3mm Support (specific questions if there are 3mm observations during your DA support period)
    • Do you understand the requirements for mm calibrators and the differences in scheduling strategies between cm and mm observations (including pointing and paddle scans)
    • Do you know the current good bandpass calibrators (they may have changed from your favourites last time you were here!)
    • Do you know how to check the 'Seeing' with the Seeing Monitor (displayed by Monica)?
  • Network and Data Transfer
    • Do you understand why the "pink cable" network connections exist and the restrictions they impose?
    • Do you know how to help visiting astronomers transfer their data to their laptop or portable hard disk?


Original, Robin Wark, 29-JUN-1995
Modified, Vanessa Moss, 05-JUL-2020