15 July 2016 Moving toward queue operations at the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory
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Abstract
The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO), a joint scientific venture between the Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft (LBTB), University of Arizona, Ohio State University (OSU), and the Research Corporation, is one of the newest additions to the world’s collection of large optical/infrared ground-based telescopes. With its unique, twin 8.4m mirror design providing a 22.8 meter interferometric baseline and the collecting area of an 11.8m telescope, LBT has a window of opportunity to exploit its singular status as the “first” of the next generation of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). Prompted by urgency to maximize scientific output during this favorable interval, LBTO recently re-evaluated its operations model and developed a new strategy that augments classical observing with queue. Aided by trained observatory staff, queue mode will allow for flexible, multi-instrument observing responsive to site conditions. Our plan is to implement a staged rollout that will provide many of the benefits of queue observing sooner rather than later -- with more bells and whistles coming in future stages. In this paper, we outline LBTO's new scientific model, focusing specifically on our “lean” resourcing and development, reuse and adaptation of existing software, challenges presented from our one-of-a-kind binocular operations, and lessons learned. We also outline further stages of development and our ultimate goals for queue.
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Michelle L. Edwards, Michelle L. Edwards, Doug Summers, Doug Summers, Joseph Astier, Joseph Astier, Igor Suarez Sola, Igor Suarez Sola, Christian Veillet, Christian Veillet, Jennifer Power, Jennifer Power, Andrew Cardwell, Andrew Cardwell, Shane Walsh, Shane Walsh, } "Moving toward queue operations at the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory", Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 99101P (15 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231251; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231251
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