Rules for using the 2.3m at SSO

  1. When using the telescope or an instrument for the first time, an observer must receive training from a suitably qualified observer. The training requirements will be specified by the Director, RSAA. To accommodate such training requirements, you should ensure that sufficient time is available before your observing run commences, and you should liaise with observers using the same equipment as yourself prior to your run.
  2. Observers are to establish contact with technical staff (telephone (02) 6842 6329, 0427 685 288 or email sso-staff@mso.anu.edu.au) prior to the first night of their run and provide their contact details as well as to let them know of any outstanding requirements and to learn of any recent instrument and/or telescope developments.
  3. Technical staff are available from 8am to 6pm during normal weekdays. Observers are urged to test the equipment as thoroughly as possible during working day afternoons as there are no general maintenance callouts before 8am or after 6pm on weekdays, nor weekends or public holidays.
  4. It is the observer's responsibility to ensure and/or arrange for the instrument to be set up appropriately including suitable filters, focus adjustments, etc. and that CCD dewars are kept topped up.
  5. Unscheduled equipment changeovers must be applied for at least 48 hours (exclusive of weekends) in advance of the desired changeover date, and are subject to the approval of the Director.
  6. Any changes or repairs to telescope or instrument hardware or software beyond power cycling equipment are forbidden.
  7. The telescope and auxiliary equipment are the responsibility of the scheduled observer. No other staff or students may use the facilities or equipment without the permission of the scheduled observer, with the exception of SSO technical staff.
  8. Access to the telescope may be restricted and remote operation of the telescope may be locked out for the safety of on-site staff and equipment at any time and without notice.
  9. When Observing physically at SSO;
    1. Observers are reminded of the dangers of working at night. Torches must be carried when moving within and about buildings at night. Torches and batteries are available at the ANU Office and the Lodge. Rechargeable torches are wall mounted in domes.
    2. Only the scheduled observer is permitted in the dome at night. Exceptions to this are observers working with the scheduled observer, trainees defined above (Item 1), technical staff, and visitors authorized by the Director.
    3. Ensure that the control room and any other facilities used are clean and tidy after each night.
  10. The telescope is to have the dome shutter and mirror covers closed when:
    1. the wind exceeds 45 knots = 51 miles/hr = 23 m/sec = 83 km/hr
    2. the humidity exceeds 95%. The observer should record in the log whenever the telescope is operated over periods during which the humidity exceeds 90%.
    3. Rain is evident within 10km of the telescope.
  11. Extreme care must be taken to avoid having the dome shutter open during rain:
    1. Do not rely on the automatic rain sensor to close the dome. The sensors are a backup only and will operate when rain is falling on the mirror. It is the observer’s responsibility to monitor the weather and close the mirror covers and dome shutter if there is rain within 10km of the telescope.
    2. Under no circumstances should the telescope be left unattended whilst open. In the event of observations having been suspended, the mirror cover and dome shutter must be closed.
    3. When the telescope is shut down, the observer must wait until the shut-down sequence is complete and visually confirm (via the Dome Camera) that the dome shutter has closed.
    4. Should any failure or error occur that prevents the dome shutter closing, call the emergency contact number immediately.
    5. If rain enters the dome and/or TAROS reports that the shutter has closed due to rain, the observer must call the emergency contact number immediately (0427 685 288).
  12. In the absence or malfunction of any part of the Meteorological System the observer should utilize the HAT-South and AAT weather data from within TAROS and use their best judgement to protect the telescope.
  13. If an event occurs that endangers life or results in serious injury, dial (0) 000.
  14. All accidents and incidents to personnel or equipment at SSO should be reported to SSO technical staff.
  15. All events that endanger on-site personnel wellbeing or may cause damage to equipment or the telescope (eg. Unable to close the dome shutter) must be reported to SSO technical staff on the emergency contact number immediately (0427 685 288).
  16. 2.3m observers are required to fully power down the telescope at the end of each night's observing and visually confirm (via the Dome Camera) that the shutter is closed.
  17. All mechanical, electrical, and software difficulties must be reported via the Fault Reporting Procedures.
  18. Some indication of weather conditions and objects observed should be logged in the Weather and Downtime Log system.
  19. Observers are requested to complete an electronic report at the end of their run using the Observer's Report Form.
  20. All safety codes generally adopted within the Australian National University must be adhered to, together with specific codes for Siding Spring Observatory as may be adopted from time to time by the appropriate safety committee.  Safety devices such as alarms on moving floors, etc, must not be overridden by the observer.

A/Prof Paul Francis Chair, Time Assignment Committee Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics May 2013