We explore observing strategies for both small (0.42 m) aperture telescopes (SAT) and a large (6 m) aperture telescope (LAT). We study strategies focused on small sky areas to search for inflationary gravitational waves as well as strategies spanning roughly half the low-foreground sky to constrain the effective number of relativistic species and measure the sum of neutrino masses via the gravitational lensing signal due to large scale structure. We present these strategies specifically considering the telescope hardware and science goals of the SO, located at 23° South latitude, 67.8° West longitude.
Observations close to the Sun and the Moon can introduce additional systematics by applying additional power to the instrument through telescope sidelobes. Significant side lobe contamination in the data can occur even at tens of degrees or more from bright sources. Therefore, we present several strategies that implement Sun and Moon avoidance constraints into the telescope scheduling.
Scan strategies can also be a powerful tool to diagnose and mitigate instrumental systematics either by using multiple scans to average down systematics or by providing null tests to diagnose problems. We discuss methods for quantifying the ability of an observation strategy to achieve this.
Strategies for resolving conflicts between simultaneously visible fields are discussed. We focus on maximizing telescope time spent on science observations. It will also be necessary to schedule calibration measurements, however that is beyond the scope of this work. The outputs of this study are algorithms that can generate specific schedule commands for the Simons Observatory instruments.