User's Guide to the Nickel 1-m Telescope

Table of Contents

Hardware Overview
Light Path
Diagonal Mirror
Arc & Flat-field Lamps
Filter and Aperture Wheels
Dew Sensor
Sofware Overview
Web/Video Cameras
Target Of Opportunity (TOO)
Observing Hints
Remote Operations

Data Archive
Mt. Hamilton Homepage

Nickel Telescope Checklists (for local observers)

Below are basic checklists for using the Nickel 1-m telescope. These checklists will not cover all observing programs, but should cover the aspects of using the Nickel telescope common to most instruments. If you are observing with the Nickel telescope remotely, you should refer to the Nickel Remote Observing Checklist as it covers items that may not be included here or differ from local Nickel telescope operations.

Setup Checklist

In the Dome

  1. Check the weather.
  2. Check telescope to be sure proper instrument, filters, etc. are installed.
  3. Fill dewar with LN2 (if using a facility instrument).
  4. Stow rainscreen.
  5. Open ventilation fan shutters if humidity below 80%.
  6. Make sure dome floor is clear of obstructions.
  7. Enable Telescope Motion (red ESTOP button next to door).
  8. Turn lights off and close door to dome.

In the Control Room

  1. Log in to noir and start the following software:
  2. Start data taking software. For facility instruments:
  3. Enable telescope movement (poco_fe).
  4. Home Telescope (poco_fe).
  5. Check operation of instrument and take calibrations as necessary.
  6. Check the weather.
  7. Open the dome shutter (naux_fe).
  8. Turn on ventilation fans (naux_fe).
  9. Lower the windscreen (naux_fe).
  10. Open the mirror cover (naux_fe).
  11. Turn on auto dome (poco_fe).
  12. Turn on telescope tracking (poco_fe).
  13. Take calibration data as necessary (e.g. twilight flats).
  14. Check telescope pointing and adjust telescope coordinates as necessary. Click Mark Centered (poco_fe).
  15. Verify Guiding to CCD offsets, set guider fiducial.
  16. Focus telescope.
  17. Keep an eye on the weather.
  18. Take lots of data.

Shutdown Checklist

In the Control Room

  1. Take calibration data if necessary (e.g. dome flats or darks).
  2. Park telescope (poco_fe).
  3. Disable movement (poco_fe).
  4. Close mirror cover (naux_fe).
  5. Turn off ventilation fans (naux_fe).
  6. Close dome shutter (naux_fe).
  7. Raise windscreen (naux_fe).

In the Dome

  1. Check that telescope and dome are in stow positions (telescope at zenith, arrow on dome aligned with arrow on wall).
  2. Check that dome shutter and mirror cover are closed. Check that windscreen is up.
  3. Disable telescope motion (push red ESTOP button next to dome door).
  4. Deploy rainscreen (manually via rope).
  5. Close ventilation fan shutters.
  6. Fill dewar with LN2 (if using a facility instrument).
  7. Turn off lights.
  8. Lock Door.

In the Control Room

  1. Exit all software.
  2. Archive your data (copy to your laptop, CD, DVD, and/or ftp to home institution).
  3. Fill out User and Trouble Logs.
  4. Call 3-m telescope operator (8-0652) and report status (even if no troubles).
  5. Turn off lights.
  6. Lock Door.
  7. Get some well deserved sleep!

Last modified: Sun Aug 16 23:46:50 PDT 2015