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RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Status of the 3 rd 6dF field plate and the new RAVE observing support model. Q.A.Parker (AAO/Mac.Uni) Fred Watson (AAO)

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Presentation on theme: "RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Status of the 3 rd 6dF field plate and the new RAVE observing support model. Q.A.Parker (AAO/Mac.Uni) Fred Watson (AAO)"— Presentation transcript:

1 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Status of the 3 rd 6dF field plate and the new RAVE observing support model. Q.A.Parker (AAO/Mac.Uni) Fred Watson (AAO)

2 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May dF FP3 Rationale One of the largest impacts on current RAVE survey productivity has been the necessity to remove one of the two existing 6dF field plates from service on a regular basis for preventative maintenance, fibre and button repairs and cleaning. This is an extremely time-consuming and pains-taking process due to the small and fragile nature of the optical fibres and their -button-prism assemblies. A 6dF field plate can be out of operation for up to 2 weeks during this time and for 2-3 times per year (but 2008 has been especially bad). As this has to be done for each current field plate this amounts to a significant ( 30%) loss in observational efficiency when either field plate in unavailable at the telescope (which is also about 15% of the time). This has been a recognised problem with the facility and the initial intention was always to have a 3rd field plate available for 6dF. An ARC LIEF grant was awarded to address this very issue.

3 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Total current FP3 budget ARC contribution: $223, ARC contribution: $223, Partner cash contributions: $150,000 Partner cash contributions: $150,000 AIP in-kind: $40,000 AIP in-kind: $40,000 Total budget envelope: $373,000+$40,000 = $413,000 Total budget envelope: $373,000+$40,000 = $413,000 Additional items not included in the original budget estimate but largely already completed out of contingency: Additional items not included in the original budget estimate but largely already completed out of contingency: Software/electronics modifications to 6dF Robot so it recognises a 3 rd field plate – this has already been done Software/electronics modifications to 6dF Robot so it recognises a 3 rd field plate – this has already been done Software changes to 6dF configure so it can configure a 3 rd field plate - again this has already been done Software changes to 6dF configure so it can configure a 3 rd field plate - again this has already been done Possible changes to the ANU supplied CICADA 6DF CCD operating system – this has yet to be done Possible changes to the ANU supplied CICADA 6DF CCD operating system – this has yet to be done Note there was no provision for modifications to the existing field plates within the LIEF bid but that there remains some scope to implement modest upgrades here too. Note there was no provision for modifications to the existing field plates within the LIEF bid but that there remains some scope to implement modest upgrades here too.

4 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Agreed partner contributions * Note the AIP has also agreed to contribute $40,000 in additional in kind support.

5 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 OUTCOMES Provision of a 3rd field plate that will ensure a minimum of 800 stars per average night and considerably alleviate observer stress. When all 3 field plates are available for use (i.e. non in preventative maintenance), which should be for 70% of the time, this should increase to stars per night. This is a substantial 50% increase in productivity for a relatively modest input of funds There would be excellent prospects of obtaining 150,000 additional stellar spectra for RAVE over the expected survey lifetime.

6 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 RAVE Operational arrangements: Management, access, time allocation The AAO will maintain overall responsibility for the on-site operation and support of the UKST and 6DF facility up to and including when the 3rd field plate is commissioned. The AAO will build, commission and house the 3rd field plate and continue to take overall operational responsibility for the whole 6DF facility. The AAO has sub-contracted the AIP to provide the fibre button and slit assembllies Access to the facility is covered by a modification to the current memorandum of understanding between the AAO and the RAVE consortium. In principle other groups either within Australia or overseas, can approach the AAO and the RAVE consortium to purchase nights on the facility for other scientific projects. Such access will depend on the availability of spare time within the RAVE survey operational model.

7 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Current Timeframe The new field plate was scoped as a 1 year to build. However, the project only really began in March 2007 Assuming completion by mid 2008 this will give a minimum of 3 years operational life until the planned RAVE survey completion in An extended lifetime for the 6DF facility post RAVE is also anticipated so the 3 rd field plate would be of considerable benefit for any such future 6DF science missions. Once commissioned it will be of immediate benefit and afford substantial gains in operational flexibility, survey efficiency, productivity and cost-effectiveness.

8 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008

9 New RAVE observer support model SUMMARY: SUMMARY: RAVE has been short of observers and desperately needs some certainty in the scheduling RAVE has been short of observers and desperately needs some certainty in the scheduling Note: RAVE observing is very intensive so there is no prospect of even temporarily increasing the observing load of the remaining RAVE observers from 5 to 6 nights to reduce the level of unallocated nights in the current schedule. Note: RAVE observing is very intensive so there is no prospect of even temporarily increasing the observing load of the remaining RAVE observers from 5 to 6 nights to reduce the level of unallocated nights in the current schedule. A ‘Macquarie model’ has thus been established to plug this gap A ‘Macquarie model’ has thus been established to plug this gap It involves my RAVE postdoc Warren Reid and RAVE PhD student Andreas Ritter who is already now trained. It involves my RAVE postdoc Warren Reid and RAVE PhD student Andreas Ritter who is already now trained. This is a very low cost model. This is a very low cost model. The RAVE ARC DP already pays Warren’s salary while Andreas is also funded from Macquarie funds (this cost is modest). The RAVE ARC DP already pays Warren’s salary while Andreas is also funded from Macquarie funds (this cost is modest). The AAO has agreed to fund lodge and travel costs for both Reid and Ritter for the life of the RAVE project The AAO has agreed to fund lodge and travel costs for both Reid and Ritter for the life of the RAVE project The AAO will continue to provide 4 in-house observers and has just appointed a new RAVE observer to take over from Ken Russell: Dr. Milorad Stupar The AAO will continue to provide 4 in-house observers and has just appointed a new RAVE observer to take over from Ken Russell: Dr. Milorad Stupar

10 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Rationale From Sem06A, 6dF became solely used for RAVE. From Sem06A, 6dF became solely used for RAVE. The support model operating until Sem07B involved 4 AAO observers using 4x5 night allocations and one `Guest RAVE observer’ under the PhD/Postdoc supplementary observer model The support model operating until Sem07B involved 4 AAO observers using 4x5 night allocations and one `Guest RAVE observer’ under the PhD/Postdoc supplementary observer model Personnel came from within the RAVE consortium. Personnel came from within the RAVE consortium. There have been 4 such additional observers found: Lionel Velz (Strasbourg), Corrado Boeche (Postdam), Borja Anquiano (Postdam) and lately Mary Williams (Potsdam) who, after training, undertook 11 solo RAVE runs between them in Sem06A and Sem08A covering a reasonable but ad-hoc fraction of non-AAO supported remaining RAVE slots. There have been 4 such additional observers found: Lionel Velz (Strasbourg), Corrado Boeche (Postdam), Borja Anquiano (Postdam) and lately Mary Williams (Potsdam) who, after training, undertook 11 solo RAVE runs between them in Sem06A and Sem08A covering a reasonable but ad-hoc fraction of non-AAO supported remaining RAVE slots.

11 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Details of the Macquarie model Warren and Andreas carry out RAVE observing for a total of ~65 nights per year (6 or 7 x 5-night runs each). Warren and Andreas carry out RAVE observing for a total of ~65 nights per year (6 or 7 x 5-night runs each). They very likely will be available to continue from now until the end of 2010 (when the current RAVE observing phase may end) subject to funding for Andreas. They very likely will be available to continue from now until the end of 2010 (when the current RAVE observing phase may end) subject to funding for Andreas. This model immediately plugs the gap created by lack of regular guest RAVE observers. This model immediately plugs the gap created by lack of regular guest RAVE observers. There are many advantages in using Macquarie astronomers as RAVE observers: There are many advantages in using Macquarie astronomers as RAVE observers: Both Warren and Andreas have visited UKST and have hands-on RAVE/6dF experience, so they know exactly what to expect. Both Warren and Andreas have visited UKST and have hands-on RAVE/6dF experience, so they know exactly what to expect. Both are experienced observers and Andreas is already trained to solo RAVE observing status with Warren to follow shortly Both are experienced observers and Andreas is already trained to solo RAVE observing status with Warren to follow shortly Being Sydney based, both have access to AAO Epping/infrastrucure. Being Sydney based, both have access to AAO Epping/infrastrucure. Warren (and Andreas for at least 2008) do not need direct wage/salary funding from the AAO. Warren (and Andreas for at least 2008) do not need direct wage/salary funding from the AAO. The AAO has agreed to fund travel and Lodge costs for these Australian based observers under the scheme that operates for observers to the AAT. The AAO has agreed to fund travel and Lodge costs for these Australian based observers under the scheme that operates for observers to the AAT.

12 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Other advantages of this model It is a great advantage to involve active RAVE research scientists and real astronomers in the data-gathering process. It is a great advantage to involve active RAVE research scientists and real astronomers in the data-gathering process. They have a vested interest in the success of RAVE and their careers/publications should also benefit. They have a vested interest in the success of RAVE and their careers/publications should also benefit. With Warren and Andreas becoming regular RAVE observers over a 2-3 year period, they offer excellent continuity and will acquire considerable experience and expertise in obtaining RAVE data. With Warren and Andreas becoming regular RAVE observers over a 2-3 year period, they offer excellent continuity and will acquire considerable experience and expertise in obtaining RAVE data. Over the next 3 years Sydney-based observers offer: Over the next 3 years Sydney-based observers offer: local, in-house scheduling control, local, in-house scheduling control, flexibility and certainty flexibility and certainty this is exactly what RAVE needs to ensure continued observing productivity. this is exactly what RAVE needs to ensure continued observing productivity. Extra observers from the consortium are still encouraged and could use more of the currently unscheduled BOM time to completely maximize RAVE observing opportunities. Extra observers from the consortium are still encouraged and could use more of the currently unscheduled BOM time to completely maximize RAVE observing opportunities.

13 RAVE MEETING BALTIMORE May 2008 Summary An attractive, feasible and immediately implementable model has been outlined. An attractive, feasible and immediately implementable model has been outlined. It will ensure complete coverage of RAVE observing throughout 2008 and in all likelihood through to the end of the RAVE survey in It will ensure complete coverage of RAVE observing throughout 2008 and in all likelihood through to the end of the RAVE survey in There are considerable advantages to this model. There are considerable advantages to this model. It offers cost-effectiveness, immediacy, stability and some level of support certainty. It offers cost-effectiveness, immediacy, stability and some level of support certainty. It does not prevent additional guest observers from within the RAVE consortium coming out under OPTICON funding at any stage, which is very much encouraged. It does not prevent additional guest observers from within the RAVE consortium coming out under OPTICON funding at any stage, which is very much encouraged. There are still BOM nights that can be effectively used and opportunities to cover absences, sickness and other unforeseen eventualities. There are still BOM nights that can be effectively used and opportunities to cover absences, sickness and other unforeseen eventualities.


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