Synoptic Target Information
HET parlance has adopted the term "synoptic" as a shorthand for
targets for which any date window is imposed in addition to their sheer
sidereal accessibility. HET queue scheduling is well suited to "synoptic"
observing, but the date windowing formalism, explained below, must be
clear to users. Please note that the general principle is: the synoptic
targets remain blocked until their observing date window, and resume being blocked
after the window.
There are currently TWO modes for controlling the observing
dates of synoptic targets:
Phase blocking (unblocking)
Synoptic blocking (unblocking) via the
TSL keywords SYNDATE and SYNFREQ
Advantages of the Phase Blocking methods:
- Phase blocking is linked to celestial object name, not target entry,
so there can be large numbers of target entries needed to code an
object's optimal observing strategy, but only one phaseblock information
file needs to be tended.
- Software bookkeeping automatically handles the situation of choosing
tracks to observe or to bypass, and updating the information and future
choices in the light of past visits. This minimizes the task load for the
- Less desirable phases being blocked, the scientific throughput is greater.
- There is little task load for the RA or the PI. The latter should however
decide promptly about rejecting any data, to minimize complications. The RAs
will have track censoring software to prevent wasting time considering
or scheduling tracks that will turn out to have blocked phases, e.g. in
Advantages of the Synoptic Blocking methods:
- For few targets and intended phase points, the =utdate date entry may be less time consuming to set up.
- The format is ideal for decaying events which impose a time cutoff.
- The format is well suited to targets of long and precisely known period.
Last updated: Sun, 05 Aug 2012 03:50:27 -0500 caldwell