The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the largest redshift survey conducted to date, and the principal survey observations have all been conducted on the dedicated SDSS 2.5m and 0.5m telescopes at Apache Point Observatory. While the whole survey has many unique features, this article concentrates on a description of the systems surrounding the dual fibre-input spectrographs that obtain all the survey spectra and that are capable of recording 5,760 individual spectra per night on an industrial, consistent, mass-production basis. It is hoped that the successes and lessons learned will prove instructive for future large spectrographic surveys.
The Telescope Performance Monitor (TPM) installed at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) located at Apache Point Observatory provides access to real-time and archived engineering data. The modularity present in the underlying Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) toolkit allows the observers and operations staff to develop their own approaches to data access and analysis. These techniques are summarized and the use of the TPM to solve critical project issues including analysis and correction of thermal management problems are presented.