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Paper: A Signal-to-noise Approach to Queue Observing with Ground-based Telescopes
Volume: 485, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIII
Page: 81
Authors: Cuillandre, J.; Mahoney, B.; Withington, K.
Abstract: CFHT offers a new mode of Queued Service Observations (QSO) that optimizes the open shutter time based on atmospheric conditions and current instrumental performance. It is an incremental but important advance following a decade of observing with MegaCam which has taught us that a fixed integration time approach usually leads to a final depth that is either beyond or below the original goal defined by the astronomer. In , the fixed integration approach has led to non-uniform depths across large patches of sky with some areas deeper than needed due to better than average seeing conditions and others too shallow or incomplete due to bad weather, descoping or insufficient time allocation. The SNR mode implements a dynamic exposure time derived in real-time from the current atmospheric conditions including image quality, sky background, atmospheric transmission, and from current instrumental conditions including current photometric zero-points and absolute limits. Our tests confirm that this approach makes the most effective use of the sky time and delivers data at the depth requested. The SNR mode enables the design of future large surveys based simply on the median conditions of Mauna Kea.
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