Task list

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When you complete a task, do not delete it! Mark it with strike-through (see example below) and add your name and date after it.

  • Make a to-do list on the wiki. Completed 2010-05-27, Eric.


  • Create an Observing schedule page, with a calendar for who is responsible for observing if a given night is clear.
  • Sign up for observing times - we'll plan on two people per night. (Keep in mind that you probably will not end up observing on about 50% of the nights you sign up for, due to the vagaries of our weather. But you need to be ready to observe on those nights.)

Telescope software tasks (good for cloudy weather!)

  • Install Dimension 4 software to improve clock accuracy on observatory PC. See Eastman et al. 2010 for more details on precise timekeeping.
  • Install JSkyCalc on control room computer. (More info on using it at AstroBetter.) --Andrew
    • Edit local file to add our observatory coordinates as described here.
    • After that file is created, let Eric know and we'll also install on the Linux machines.
  • Install latest version of FocusMax software (3.4.40) - it's on the Y: drive mapped to the PC.
  • Preparations for mapping run to improve the telescope pointing model.
    • Download and install the full version of PinPoint. Eric will do - this should be registered to the department.
    • Download and install AAG TPointMapper
    • Download and install USNO A2.0 catalog for use by PinPoint as described here.

Improving telescope operations

  • Do a substantial (> 100 point) point run using AAG TPointMapper.
  • Use FocusMax software to automate focusing of the imaging camera.
    • Read background info on its operation.
    • Set up FocusMax to link to TCC focuser.
    • Do calibration runs to set up V curves for our system.
    • Change MaximDL settings to link to FocusMax hub, which then links to the focuser/TCC. Save this configuration (under Apogee/Photometry).
  • Continue to work on Autoguiding improvements - especially the optimal Dec backlash setting.
  • Investigate and document whether or not slow warm-up of the CCD is necessary. --Jean
  • Create and save some Auto sequences in MaximDL to facilitate running a series of bias and dark frames before or after a run.
  • Reinforce flat-field screen and hang in dome.
  • Document procedure for dome flats.
  • Install and test out plug-in for automating sky flats.

Documenting telescope operations

Photometric light curve improvements

  • Write scripts to streamline data reduction (bias, flat, etc.)
  • Write or find scripts to streamline photometry and creating light curves.
  • Investigate optimal use of multiple comparison stars, e.g. approaches of Southworth et al. 2009 or Broeg et al. 2005. --Jackson

Possible future improvements

  • Possible automation of dome opening/closing?
  • Install weather station / cloud sensor?
  • Observatory automation with ACP, CCD AutoPilot, or CCD Commander?
  • Install eShel spectrograph.