Up: Service observing management at the APEX telescope
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6 EVALUATION AND OUTLOOK
In the previous sections I described how service observing is prepared and performed
at the APEX telescope. The implemented observing submission facility, together with the
observing database and the TWiki project pages, represent an efficient tool to manage
scientific observations in service observing mode.
- Only products are used in the implementation which are freely available. This
and the software components (Apache Webserver, TWiki, mySQL).
- The system is easy to use for the project PI and the APEX staff. No additional
software installations are necessary. The submission of project information and the
progress monitoring are all accessed through a standard webbrowser.
- The project submission facility was completely developed within the APEX
Science Operations group. It can therefore be easily maintained, extended and modified
by the APEX staff. This is of importance considering that APEX will continue to
expand its suite of receivers and available observing techniques.
- With the automatic creation of setup and observing macros by the submission
facility, as well as database entries and observing logs by the APEX control system,
the workload on APEX staff is siginificantly reduced. This frees manpower to perform
other observatory duties.
It must be noted that the whole system is under constant development. Improvements
planned for the future include a better interconnection between the various
components, in order to reduce redundancy and to further automatize the observing process.
Michael Dumke, 19 May 2009. Article © SPIE