As before, most comments written in the reports during period 43 were very positive, both about the observing system and the support from the staff.
What is properly most noteworthy is that, beyond some comments referring to faults that were also reported through the fault data base, there were very few comments. Apart from various positive remarks about the increased speed of readout for the ALFOSC CCD with the new controller, the only things that was mentioned more than once is the relative slowness of the CCD readout for FIES which is still using the old detector controller (see below). For the new observing log an option was requested to be able to add comments. This is being implemented. For ALFOSC it was suggested that the acquisition script includes a separate option to set any offset in the telescope focus to zero (as should be the case when using no filter which is the normal case when acquiring a target for spectroscopy). It was noted that there was little difference between simply setting the focus offset to zero or adding it to the acquisition script, while there are cases (e.g., when using a order-sorting filter) where a filter is used and the focus offset is not zero. It was also noted that the staff phone list in the control room was outdated. This list, and the one in the dome were replaced. There was a comment that the time-out of 20 min defined for calibration lamps in ALFOSC was rather short as some calibration exposures needed to be longer than 5 min to reach a reasonable signal level, and it would not be possible to take several exposures without the timeout being activated. It is being looked at how best to account for such cases beyond a simple switching off and on of the lamp in question. One observer noted that when observing with FIES it can be a problem when data from StanCam and FIES are displayed at the same time. Specifically, when acquiring the target from a StanCam image the cursor can be ``taken'' by the part of the display that is showing a FIES image. This crashes the StanCam target acquisition program. This only happens when a new target is acquired very quickly and, e.g., a calibration exposure is taken with FIES while the telescope is moving to a new target and is only readout when already an image has been taken with StanCam to acquire a new target. A simple workaround has been defined to avoid this specific problem by letting the StanCam target acquisition retry when it fails instead of failing completely and crashing the program. This is being implemented.
Thomas Augusteijn 2012-02-21