Since 2015, W. M. Keck Observatory has been considering the possibility of conducting nighttime operations without any staff on the summit of Maunakea. A combination of methods has been used to assess the risk of this change in operations from different perspectives. System experts were surveyed to determine potential gaps in functionality that could create risk when operating or troubleshooting systems remotely. A hazard and risk analysis of use cases that describe nightly operations was conducted to identify risks to people, observatory equipment, and science quality and quantity that arise from the absence of people on the summit during the night. Risks were also identified by mining the night time fault reporting data from 2010-2016 to determine instances where hands on presence has been required on the summit to address issues. In the current state, these known issues would result in lost time and potential risk to equipment. The risk responses developed to address these risks have identified requirements on existing systems and for new capabilities to support unattended nighttime operations at WMKO.
Sarah Gajadhar, Carolyn Jordan, and Paul Stomski, "Understanding the risk of unattended nighttime operations at W. M. Keck Observatory," Proc. SPIE 10705, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VIII, 1070506 (Presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: June 10, 2018; Published: 10 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2311418.
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