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Override Programmes

Before proposing an override programme, please visit the applying for telescope time web pages and this definition of target of opportunity. If your programme has been allocated time, then please follow the instructions below for triggering:

Trigger information

  1. For override teams
  2. For observers at the telescope
  3. Allocations
  4. Conflict resolution

1. For override teams

Step 1: CHECK

Before triggering, find your programme in the override-allocations table below and check:

  • Which programmes you can override and which instruments you can use, by checking the allocations table below and what is scheduled for the night on the ING schedules. Please note that combined programmes are shown in the schedules separared with "/". In those cases, check the first programme listed, e.g. 'N15/P29' means that N15 is the programme that should be checked against the allocations table as being the owner of the time.

    Please note that ACAM is always available to overrides when observing at Cassegrain or Nasmyth, and not necessarily it is scheduled (ie. whenever prime-focus instruments are not scheduled).

    Overrides which require a switch of focal station from that scheduled are permitted, but changes to the configuration of a specific instrument (e.g. filter-wheel content, dichroic or grating changes) may only be made with the permission of the observer affected and only if qualified ING staff are available to make such a change. Please note that some changes, for instance, from INTEGRAL to ACAM, might be longer than others (~10-15 minutes), given the particular instrument setups, and any resulting overheads will be charged to the overriden time.

  • The observations done so far of your programme and the limits for the semester.
  • The visibility of your targets (sky brightness, moon distance, airmass, telescope limits).
  • Triggers only last one night, i.e. if it was cloudy the previous night, then the observers won't requeue the observations on the following night, and if the trigger is still active, resubmission is necessary.
Overrides can only be triggered by a member of an Override Team (see the allocations table below for nominated members).

Step 2: PHONE

The Override Team must make phone contact with the observers prior to execution of the observations in order to obtain an email address where to send the request and find out about the instrument setups and modes currently available. This phone call will establish precedence in the event of more programmes being activated that night.

Contact Phone
WHT Control Room +34 922 425 452
INT Control Room +34 922 425 409

If the phone numbers above are unavailable, please phone the Residencia (+34 922 405 500) and ask for the relevant control room; or call the OSA mobile phone (+34 616 97 45 13), available only from 19:30 (summer) or 18:30 (winter) until sunrise every night.

Step 3: EMAIL

Email the override request template to the observer and to triggering.iac.es (this will automatically forward the communication to the Observing Support Assistants (OSAs), Support Astronomers (SAs) and Override Programme Manager). If bounced, then please fax the request to WHT's control room: +34 922 425 448 and let the observers know.

2. For observers at the telescope

Step 1: CHECK

Look for the triggering programme in the allocations table below and check the following:
  • Whether the observers' programme can be overridden, can be overridden only at the observers' discretion or cannot be overridden at all.
  • The maximum allowed duration of the override, including the overheads.
  • That the observing plan was correctly received from the Override Team, it is clear and it can be carried out. In particular check that the requested instrument modes and setups are feasible and can be used with little impact on the observing plan for the night.
Please acknowledge the triggering email from the Override Team replying to the sender and all the copied recipients (including triggering.iac.es), and proceed to the next step if everything is fine. The email address triggering.iac.es will reach every member of the ING's Astronomy Group Please do not use triggering.iac.es for discussions on the observing details unless necessary.

If anything is not clear (instrument setups, number of overrides allowed per night), check the conflict resolution rules below and contact the Override Team as soon as possible. Copy messages to the Override Manager at overrideing.iac.es.

Step 2: OBSERVE

Please observe at the earliest opportunity on the timescale requested by the Override Team. For example, prompt reaction to rapid-response GRB programmes is important and target acquisition should commence immediately on receipt of the alert if so requested by the GRB team. For other GRB triggers target acquisition should commence no later than thirty minutes after the phone request, unless a more relaxed observation timeline is confirmed by the GRB team.

Non-ACAM observers undertaking an ACAM override should seek advice from the OSA about how to configure and use the instrument, and if the Override Team submitted a specific ACAM observing sequence, then proceed to execute.

Step 3: REPORT

Whether the attempt has been successful or not, always and immediately submit the “Override Report” below  right after obtaining the data. The same report can be edited and resubmitted later with any remaining calibration frames, for instance, but the immediate submission of the report  is critical for communicating the results, sending the data to the override team and taking any further observing decisions. This report is also essential for recording the override programme's used time and triggers.

Override Report

Only if the above form is not available (the form is only available at the ING intranet) or the file upload failed, then follow these alternative instructions:

The data should be copied promptly to the appropriate directory in the anonymous ftp area. For example, as user whtguest (replace wht by int below for INT observers) on any public linux PC (for instance, WHTDRPC1 or INTDRPC1):

mkdir /obsdata/outgoing/whtguest/20110801
cp /obsdata/whta/20110801/files /obsdata/outgoing/whtguest/20110801
gzip /obsdata/outgoing/whtguest/20110801/*

chmod 555 /obsdata/outgoing/whtguest/20110801/*

Then the data can be retrieved from the ING ftp server as follows:

user> ftp ftp.ing.iac.es (login as anonymous, password your email address)
ftp> cd whtguest/20110801
ftp> bin
ftp> prompt
ftp> passive
ftp> mget *
ftp> bye

(The prompt and the passive commands should set the interactive and the transfer modes on respectively.

Or you can also browse the data as an anonymous user:

ftp://ftp.ing.iac.es/whtguest/20110801/

Please email the downloading instructions and their description promptly to the override team and to the Override Programme Manager (overrideing.iac.es). Delete the files once downloaded:

rm /obsdata/outgoing/whtguest/20110801/*

Step 4: FURTHER ACTIONS

The Spanish CAT time-allocation committee requests from the observers some other actions, please visit CAT override programmes.

3. Allocations

Override Programmes Semester 2017A

WHT
Reference (PI)

Programme

"Title"

If triggered, it overrides...Allowed triggers and observations made
any of these
instruments [1]
these programmes
(see abbreviations)
CommentsWho can
trigger
Maximum
individual
duration
(incl.
overheads)
hh:mm
Triggers
observed /
 total
allowed
Time
observed /
 total
allowed
(incl.
overheads)
hh:mm
neveronly at
the discretion
of the
observer
always
P23 (Levan)

W/2017A/23

"Rapid WHT observations of gamma-ray bursts"

ACAM
ISIS
LIRIS
PAUCam

Default setup:
ACAM
ISIS
LIRIS
PAUCam 

P2 (Green)
P4 (Lawrence)
P6 (Bielby)
P13 (Hatch)
P19 (Oteo)
P22 (Kirk)
P27 (Norberg)
P28 (Steeghs)
P30 (Gaensicke)
P34 (Watson)

C#
Comm#
DDT#
ITP#
N#
OPT#

ING Service Programme: target-of-opportunity/
time-critical proposals graded <=1.5 
 S, S/D, D
P# 
P23 defers to P28 (Steeghs) and P34 (Watson) irrespective of which triggers first. Andrew Levan (a.j.levan@warwick.ac.uk)
David Bersier (dfb@ljmu.ac.uk)
Gregory Brown (G.C.Brown@warwick.ac.uk)
Antonio De Ugarte (aup@iaa.es)
Johan Fynbo (jfynbo@nbi.ku.dk)
Pall Jakobsson (pja@hi.is)
Rhaana Starling (rlcs1@le.ac.uk)
Nial Tanvir (nrt3@star.le.ac.uk)
Klaas Wiersema (kw113@leicester.ac.uk)
Ralph Wijers (r.a.m.j.wijers@uva.nl) 
02:00 
3 / Any 
04:33 / 10:00 

Observed on and
programme overriden:

2017-02-08, S/D
2017-02-16, S/D
2017-04-07, S/D

P24 (Magee)

W/2017A/24

"Early-time spectroscopy of supernovae from deflagrations of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs"

ISIS

Default setup:
ISIS R300B
R158R
D5300 

P2 (Green)
P4 (Lawrence)
P6 (Bielby)
P22 (Kirk)
P23 (Levan)
P25 (Gentile Fusillo)
P28 (Steeghs)
P30 (Gaensicke)
P34 (Watson)
P37 (Auger)

C#
Comm#
DDT#
ITP#
N#
OPT#

ING Service Programme: target-of-opportunity/
time-critical proposals graded <=1.5 
 S, S/D, D
P# 
P24 defers to P28 (Steeghs), P34 (Watson) and P23 (Levan) irrespective of which triggers first. Mark Magee (mmagee37@qub.ac.uk) 
00:50 
0 / 8 
00:00 / 05:00 
P28 (Steeghs)

W/2017A/28

"Spectroscopic follow-up of gravitational wave transients"

ACAM
ISIS
LIRIS

Default setup:
ACAM
ISIS
LIRIS 

P2 (Green)
P22 (Kirk)
P30 (Gaensicke)

C#
Comm#
DDT#
ITP#
N#
OPT#

ING Service Programme: target-of-opportunity/
time-critical proposals graded <=1.5 
 S, S/D, D
P# 
P28 takes precedence over P34 (Watson), P23 (Levan) and P24 (Magee) irrespective of which triggers first. Danny Steeghs (D.T.H.Steeghs@warwick.ac.uk)
Vik Dhillon (vik.dhillon@sheffield.ac.uk)
Nial Tanvir (nrt3@leicester.ac.uk)
Krzystof Ulaczyk (k.p.ulaczyk@warwick.ac.uk) 
02:00 
0 / Any 
00:00 / 10:00 
P34 (Watson)

W/2017A/34

"Investigating the enigmatic behaviour of the alien megastructures orbiting KIC 8462852"

ACAM ISIS

Default setup:
ISIS 10" slit. 

P2 (Green)
P4 (Lawrence)
P6 (Bielby)
P13 (Hatch)
P19 (Oteo)
P22 (Kirk)
P28 (Steeghs)
P30 (Gaensicke)

C#
Comm#
DDT#
ITP#
N#
OPT#

ING Service Programme: target-of-opportunity/
time-critical proposals graded <=1.5 
 S, S/D, D
P# 
P34 takes precedence over P23 (Levan) irrespective of which triggers first. Chris Watson (c.a.watson@qub.ac.uk) 
01:30 
0 / 3 
00:00 / 04:30 
N1 (Jonker)

W17AN001

"The fast transient sky with Gaia"

ACAM

Default setup:
ACAM V400 

C#
Comm#
DDT#
ITP#
OPT#
P#

ING Service Programme: target-of-opportunity/
time-critical proposals graded <=1.5 
 S, S/D, D
N# 
 Peter Jonker (p.jonker@sron.nl)
Simon Hodgkins (sth@ast.cam.ac.uk)
Gijs Nelemans (nelemans@astro.ru.nl)
Manuel Torres (m.torres@sron.nl)
Sjoert van Velzen (s.vanvelzen@astro.ru.nl)
Thomas Wevers (t.wevers@astro.ru.nl) 
01:30 
0 / 3 
00:00 / 04:30 

Notes: [1] Any of the listed instruments if scheduled (ie. shown in the instrument column of the ING schedules). Please note that ACAM is always available when observing at Cassegrain, and not necessarily it is scheduled.

INT
Reference (PI)

Programme

"Title"

If triggered, it overrides...Allowed triggers and observations made
any of these
instruments [1]
these programmes
(see abbreviations)
CommentsWho can
trigger
Maximum
individual
duration
(incl.
overheads)
hh:mm
Triggers
observed /
 total
allowed
Time
observed /
 total
allowed
(incl.
overheads)
hh:mm
neveronly at
the discretion
of the
observer
always
P6 (Levan)

I/2017A/06

"Unveiling of the multi-messenger sky"

WFC

Default setup:
WFC 

C#
Comm#
ITP#
Leiden
N#
OPT# 
P12 (Watson) D
P# 
 Andrew Levan (a.j.levan@warwick.ac.uk)
Danny Steeghs (D.T.H.Steeghs@warwick.ac.uk)
Vik Dhillon (vik.dhillon@sheffield.ac.uk)
Nial Tanvir (nrt3@leicester.ac.uk) 
02:00 
0 / Any 
00:00 / 12:00 

Notes: [1] Any of the listed instruments if scheduled (ie. shown in the instrument column of the ING schedules). Please note that ACAM is always available when observing at Cassegrain, and not necessarily it is scheduled.


Semester:


4. Conflict resolution

4.1. For visiting astronomers: overrides on scheduled nights

Only one authorised programme can override a scheduled programme per night. If multiple override programmes were triggered on the same night, please check the observing priorities in the column 'Comments' of the allocations table. If no priority was specified there, then give priority to the programme which was triggered first.

Overrides by a given programme are limited to a maximum of two hours' duration per night including all overheads, distributed in no more than two distinct slots, unless a maximum duration is indicated for that specific programme (see allocations table). For example precursor imaging observations followed by spectroscopic observations if quick-look analysis of the imaging data indicates that this is merited, or subsequent override being requested by the same team within the night for a different target. In general, longer observations could proceed at the discretion of the scheduled observer.

Overrides which require a switch of focal station from that scheduled are permitted, but changes to the configuration of a specific instrument (e.g. filter-wheel content, dichroic or grating changes) may only be made with the permission of the observer affected and only if qualified ING staff are available to make such a change. Please note that some changes, for instance, from INTEGRAL to ACAM, might be longer than others (~10-15 minutes), given the particular instrument setups, and any resulting overheads will be charged to the overriden time.

Nights scheduled with adaptive optics allocations are usually annotated as Reference+S/D in the schedules. In these cases, 'S/D' refers to the allocated backup programme for non-AO conditions. These nights can be overridden in the same way as other programmes, as described in the allocations table and in the present section.

4.2. For support astronomers: overrides on service and discretionary nights

The number of override programmes that can be observed on a service or discretionary night (WHT's S, S/D and D nights and INT's CAT S and D nights) is restricted to 2, unless time is shorter than one night, in which case it is restricted to only 1.

Overrides by a given programme are limited to a maximum of two hours' duration per night including all overheads, distributed in no more than two distinct slots, unless a maximum duration is indicated for that specific programme (see allocations table). For example precursor imaging observations followed by spectroscopic observations if quick-look analysis of the imaging data indicates that this is merited, or subsequent override being requested by the same team within the night for a different target. In general, longer observations could proceed at the discretion of the scheduled observer.

Overrides take always precedence, except if target-of-opportunity and/or time-critical service observations can never be overriden (see allocations table for details), or uninterruptable discretionary tasks are being done. Those service or discretionary observations must be completed before attempting the override programme. Only if the override request is for the same target as the one being observed as part of the service target-of-opportunity or time-critical proposal, then the override programme takes precedence over the service observations, and the data must be made available to the override team only.

If more than one override programme is triggered, then all overrides should be queued according to whom triggered first, except if precedence rules were set (see allocations table) or if the triggering team has set observing constraints, as airmass, seeing, etc.

If one override programme triggers while another override programme of lower-precedence is being observed, observations should be completed before attempting the higher-precedence programme. If the observations are for the same target, they should be delivered to whoever triggered the observations first.

If competing override programmes trigger an override for the same target and instrumentation on a service night, the override observations will be attempted for the team whose request was received first. However, in these circumstances the teams may elect to share the data. In this event, the time used in the override will be accounted on a 50% basis to the teams involved, and the duration of the override will be limited to two hours, including overheads.



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Contact:  (Override Manager)
Last modified: 09 September 2016