User's Guide to the Nickel Remote Operations

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The Nickel 1-meter (40-inch) telescope and Direct Imaging Camera (CCD-C2) are equipped for remote operation. The remote software environment is nearly identical to the one at the telescope, making remote observing very similar to local observing. The only major differences are in those tasks where physical presence at the telescope is necessary: personal inspection of the telescope, dome and instrument, first-hand monitoring of the weather, installing filters, and filling the dewar. We have sought wherever possible to obviate those differences by providing remote eyes and ears, reliable weather sensing, and on-site support.

Please refer to the Nickel Remote Observing Policy for more information on who may observe remotely and how to gain authorization to do so.

While remote observing may seem convenient, there are disadvantages to not being on-site. It is possible that the remote observing room (particularly the Keck Mainland Observing rooms) schedule may change at the last minute, making it unavailable for Nickel remote operations. While internet connectivity is usually fast, it can become slow or be lost altogether. Also, if hardware problems occur, one has to rely on the availability of mountain staff to investigate and repair a hardware problem the observer might otherwise have been able to rectify oneself.

Contact a support astronomer if you need more information that is not included in this manual.

Support Astronomers,
Last modified: Thu Sep 10 19:39:35 PDT 2015