12 July 2008 Magellan Telescopes operations 2008
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The twin 6.5m Magellan Telescopes have been in routine operations at the Las Campanas Observatory in the Chilean Andes since 2001 and 2002 respectively. The telescopes are owned and operated by Carnegie for the benefit of the Magellan consortium members (Carnegie Institution of Washington, Harvard University, the University of Arizona, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan). This paper provides an up to date review of the scientific, technical, and administrative structure of the 'Magellan Model' for observatory operations. With a modest operations budget and a reasonably small staff, the observatory is operated in the "classical" mode, wherein the visiting observer is a key member of the operations team. Under this model, all instrumentation is supplied entirely by the consortium members and the various instrument teams continue to play a critical support role beyond initial deployment and commissioning activities. Here, we present a critical analysis of the Magellan operations model and suggest lessons learned and changes implemented as we continue to evolve an organizational structure that can efficiently deliver a high scientific return for the investment of the partners.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David J. Osip, David J. Osip, Mark M. Phillips, Mark M. Phillips, Povilas Palunas, Povilas Palunas, Frank Perez, Frank Perez, M. Leroy, M. Leroy, "Magellan Telescopes operations 2008", Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 701609 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790028; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.790028


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