Caltech Remote Observing Facilities
Caltech Astronomy remote observing facilities (here ROF) are maintained in 118 and 144 Cahill for remote observing/participation (here RO) at Keck Observatory, Palomar Observatory, and other remote sites. The Cahill ROF are equipped with videoconference and computer facilities to support remote observations and interaction.
We have an extensive manual for Cahill ROF, available in HTML and PDF. The ROF manual contains descriptions of operations procedures; recipes, and scripts for connecting to remote observatories; and contact lists for questions and support. The ROF manual is also available in hardcopy in the two ROF rooms.
ROF Reservations and Schedule
Note: Non-Caltech users of Cahill ROF are required to submit a signed Facilities Use Agreement (FUA; PDF) before they can be granted access to card-keys and Cahill ROF. Signed FUAs can be scanned and submitted to rof [at] astro.caltech.edu, or faxed to Richard Walters (rsw [at] astro.caltech.edu) at 626/568-1517.
ROF Reservations: Keck Remote Observing
Users with approved remote observing sessions will be advised by WMKO of required checkout and coordination steps, and by Cahill ROF support personnel on reservation status and ROF demo appointments.
ROF Reservations: Palomar Remote Observing
Please be advised that P200 RO infrastructure and procedures are still in development and testing, so potential Palomar remote observers should consider this capability in a shared-risk status, and expect that that their run may be adversely impacted by technical issues.
P200 RO requests should be submitted at least two (2) weeks in advance of the scheduled observing run (other requests will be supported on a best-effort basis), and the request must be made in email by the investigation PI. Please use our template email P200 remote observing request. Palomar RO requests will receive a response within three (3) business days.
ROF Reservations: Other Observatories/Uses
If you are planning remote observing/participation at another facility (e.g. IRTF), or just a videoconference, you may request your ROF reservation directly with rof [at] astro.caltech.edu; please request your ROF reservation at least one (1) week in advance (other requests will be supported on a best-effort basis). In your request please indicate the UTC observing date(s) and hours, the remote facility and instrument, and any support requirements beyond videoconference and computer connection. ROF support staff will advise you on your request status within three (3) business days.
To facilitate submitting the required information, please use our template email generic Cahill ROF request form. [Note: if requests are being submitted by individuals other than the assigned observing time PI, then the PI for the relevant observing time must be copied on the ROF request.]
Please note that support of Keck (ROF1) and Palomar (ROF2) remote observing is our first priority for Cahill ROF; other uses will be accommodated as the ROF are available, and may be preempted.
For the Non-Cognoscenti: Cahill Visitor Logistics
Cahill ROF Page/ v 0.53