Observing Procedures

Science observations begin after the completion of the proposal review process. Approved programs are carried out by a team of skilled observers in communication with LMT staff scientists. The science observing process is described below.

Observing Script Preparation

Observing scripts will be created by LMT staff. The Helpdesk will contact PIs via email to request the necessary information to create the script. The PI can request to have the generated script sent to them to review, but it is not required. To make any special requests or give additional information, please contact the LMT Helpdesk.

Scheduling Observations

The prioritized lists approved by the TAC will be compiled into a complete list of targets for scheduling on the telescope. Projects will be drawn from the queue according to target visibility, relative priority, and fraction of time spent observing for each user community.

The allocation of observing time will be a complicated matter since, nominally, the correct balance of observing time is preserved at any given time. The following factors will be considered by the queue managers in the assignment of time:

  • Season
  • Weather Conditions
  • LST Range
  • Time of Day

Scientific observing time is defined to be the time available to conduct observations drawn from the observing queue. The time required to complete an observation includes the integration time for the observation itself and overhead in the observation (due to needing to move the telescope, calibration, etc.). Telescope time assigned for engineering activities will not be included in the total scientific observing time available, with the expectation that engineering activities do not lead to novel scientific results and are a benefit to all stakeholders.

Requesting Changes to Approved Programs

Changes to approved science programs must be reviewed by the LMT management team before they can be implemented. Contact the LMT Helpdesk to request changes to your science program.