Thursday, 4 December 2014

Constellation Cam Jobs

Constellation-Cam jobs will be frozen.

We have not been running Constellation-Cam for some time now since we found the image quality had taken a sudden plunge. Dan investigated and concluded that most likely the camera's cooling system had failed. Our astronomy cameras are equipped with Peltier heat pumps to cool the main imaging chip; we run ours at -16°C. Cooling CCD chips in this way reduces the chip "noise" resulting in better images. Constellation-Cam running the chip at about 26°C over normal temperatures explained why the images were significantly worse than normal.

We started planning a camera swap-around and upgrade plan but unfortunately this is taking longer than anticipated.

So that people are not wasting job-queue slots, I have removed Constellation-Cam from the list of possible cameras to choose for new observation requests. Also I have "frozen" all waiting Constellation-Cam jobs - this means that the jobs are no longer in Tenerife waiting at the telescope, they are not being scheduled and no longer count against your job-queue slots. All frozen jobs will stay that way until we have fixed or replaced Constellation-Cam in Tenerife; they will then be re-instated (with their long waiting times - so will have an advantage over over jobs). However, if you no longer want your frozen jobs to be observed you can still cancel them.

We hope to fix Constellation-Cam as soon as is possible.

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