As before, most comments written in the reports during period 36 were very positive, especially about the support from the staff. One practical complaint was about the telescope not being optimal for the observations of solar system objects. Although this was partly caused by a misunderstanding of the system and the exceptionally high angular velocity of the object that was observed, it appears to be true that using modified tracking rates without using the autoguider gives much worse results than one would expect. This is being investigated.
On the observing side, there were some comments on the documentation being rather variable in the amount of detail that is being provided, but it was also noted that the documentation is rather complete. There were also some comments about the FIES target acquisition being complicated, the ALFOSC spectroscopic target acquisition being complicated under certain specific circumstances and the ToO instructions for observations with StanCam not being up-to-date for use with the new sequencer. All these issues have been addressed.
On the safety side, there was one comment on the instruction what to do in case of ice forming at the telescope. In fact, as the conditions can be very different there are no general instructions and the specific instruction is to follow the instructions given by the staff in each case. This is what actually happened in this case, but the observer apparently felt that written instruction were more reliable than following orders from the staff. It was also noted that for safety reasons it would be good to have the side ports equipped with motors. This is not a trivial thing to change, but we might consider it in relation to remote observing without anybody present at the telescope.
Thomas Augusteijn 2008-11-14