Instrumentation Update for Proposers

This article provides on update on the status of the Goodman red camera as well as guidelines for proposers, and also provides a link to information on visitor instrument capabilities that the PIs are making available to the SOAR community.

Goodman Red Camera Update

Status and Expected Performance

Commissioning the red camera is well underway, however the camera dewar needed to be returned to the manufacturer for repairs after the January engineering run. It may be returned in time for the March engineering run, but the schedule for this to happen is quite tight. We therefore cannot promise updated performance information in time for most proposal deadlines. We do expect the commissioning to be complete by the time the telescope schedules for next semester are finalized, and we should make the red camera available to interested users during the current semester once we are confident regarding its performance.
We expect that the red camera performance will be typical of that for e2v deep depletion CCDs with a broadband anti-reflection coating. Specifically, sensitivity will be generally similar to that of the blue camera, but somewhat better in the red, and with significantly reduced fringing, and somewhat worse in the ultraviolet.
Although both cameras will generally be operational, switching between them is a manual operation at the instrument, and therefore is possible (safe) only during daytime, in the same way that grating and filter changes are possible only during daytime. It will therefore be possible to split an observing run into nights with the blue camera and nights with the red camera, but not nights where both cameras are used.

Recommendations

Proposers for semester 2016B should indicate whether they require or prefer a specific camera on their proposals. Proposers requesting multiple nights who would like to use both cameras should also indicate that. These preferences are not binding, since we expect to have enough flexibility to accommodate preferences based on documented performance.

Access to Visitor Instruments

The PI's of two visitor instruments (HRCAM, a speckle camera, and SAM Fabry-Perot) are making these capabilities available to other users on a limited basis - please see the details here.