CFHT, Instruments, Queue Scheduling

The QSO Project

QSO Manager: Nadine Manset
ESPaDOnS Main Coordinator: Nadine Manset
System Programmer: Tom Vermeulen
Database Specialist: Billy Mahoney
Senior Service Observer: Todd Burdullis
Service Observers: Mary Beth Laychak, Peter Forshay, Adam Draginda


Please visit the new QSO website!
This page will not be updated anymore!
For questions or comments, please email the QSO Team: qsoteam -=at=-


QSO News

(The latest news in the world of QSO)

Phase 1 Submission

(QSO Program Submission instructions for Poopsy)

Phase 2 Submission

(Access to the Phase 2 Submission Tool (PH2) and list of all accepted QSO programs for current semester)

TOO Programs

(Submission form for Target-of-Opportunity programs)

Night Reports - Program Status

(Observing reports and Program Status)

Current Statistics

(Global program statistics for current semester)

Proprietary Period

(Information on Prop time for QSO programs)

Contacting the QSO Team

(How to contact the QSO Team)

QSO News !

Welcome to the QSO Page! This section presents the most recent news regarding the QSO mode with MegaCam, WIRCam and ESPaDOnS! Come back often and stay informed on the progress made in our QSO endeavor...

Last update: 09/23/2009

QSO schedule for 2009B

QrunID Instrument HST Dates Number of Nights Status Run Summary
09BQ01 WIRCam 08/01/09 - 08/14/09 14 Done Good run. Lost about 3 nights to high humidity. Good IQ. Used Engineering time for Staring Mode implementation.
09BQ02 MegaCam 08/15/09 - 08/23/09 9 Done Good run. Lost about 1 night to high humidity. Good IQ except for a few hours. Minimal time lost to technical problems.
09BQ03 WIRCam 08/24/09 - 08/28/09 5 Done Good short run. Lost 1 night to high humidity. Good IQ. No time lost to technical problems.
09BQ04 ESPaDOnS 09/02/09 - 09/10/09 9 Done Good run. Good weather. About 5hrs lost to telescope issues. First official trial at single-person operations from the summit (with Warm Body present for safety reasons): promising!
09BQ05 MegaCam 09/11/09 - 09/23/09 13 Started
09BQ06 ESPaDOnS 09/24/09 - 10/09/09 16 Not Started
09BQ07 MegaCam 10/10/09 - 10/22/09 13 Not Started
09BQ08 WIRCam 10/23/09 - 11/09/09 18 Not Started
09BQ09 MegaCam 11/10/09 - 11/22/09 13 Not started
09BQ10 ESPaDOnS 11/23/09 - 12/09/09 17 Not Started
09BQ11 MegaCam 12/10/09 - 12/20/09 11 Not Started
09BQ12 WIRCam 12/21/09 - 12/29/09 9 Not Started
09BQ13 ESPaDOnS 12/30/09 - 01/06/10 8 Not Started
09BQ14 MegaCam 01/07/10 - 01/19/10 13 Not started
09BQ15 ESPaDOnS 01/22/10 - 01/31/10 10 Not started

Phase 1 and Phase 2 News
Semester 2010A is now closed for proposals. Deadline was 23 September 2009 - 24:00UTC.
PH2 for 2009B is closed.

Contact information
For communicating with the QSO Team, it is very important to use the alias qsoteam -=at=- ! Emails sent to only one team member might not get a reply quickly enough due to the nature of our flexible schedules. This is why it is very important to use the email address for the whole QSO Team.

QSO Reports
The report for semester 2008B is now available. Reports from previous semesters are available in the Documentation and Reports section.

2009B QSO Run Summaries:

QSO Run summaries for previous semesters are available starting with 2004A.

Phase 1 Proposal Submission

The first step for applying for time in a queue mode is to submit a proposal to the Time Allocation Committee. For the Canadian, French, Taiwanese, and Brazilian communities, this must be done through CADC's Web interface, Poopsy. All the necessary information for queue proposals with MegaPrime, WIRCam and ESPaDOnS for the semester 2010A can be found in the Web documents below. It is STRONGLY recommended to carefully read the relevant document before starting to work with Poopsy; those documents are updated with new information before each semester. Investigators should spend some time to familiarize themselves with the QSO concept, the characteristics of the instruments, and the general procedures.

Notes for 2010A:

Submission of MegaPrime Queue Proposals: A Tutorial for 2010A (.pdf)

Submission of WIRCam Queue Proposals: A Tutorial for 2010A (.pdf)

Submission of ESPaDOnS Queue Proposals: A Tutorial for 2010A (.pdf)

Quick checklist for Phase 1:
  • You have requested time in HOURS.
  • Your requested time includes the appropriate OVERHEADS: readout time, telescope slews if appropriate.
  • You have included a table of the number of hours per RA bin.
  • You have used the appropriate EXPOSURE TIME CALCULATOR.
  • If your program is a Snapshot program, it requests bad sky conditions (bad Image Quality or high extinction), is simple, and is made of short OGs.
  • You have included on-sky calibrations if needed and if not already taken care of by the QSO Team.
  • You have contacted the QSO Team for any question or concern.

For more information concerning the QSO Project and for any help during the preparation of your queue proposal, contact the QSO Team.

Phase 2 Proposal Submission

PH2 is a sophisticated Web based tool designed specifically for the Phase 2 submission of observations with MegaCam, WIRCam, and ESPaDOnS, and available from the CFHT Web site.

The phase 2 period for accepted proposals for 2009B with MegaCam, WIRCam and ESPaDOnS will open on June 5, with a deadline of June 18, 2009, at 14h HST.

  1. The telescope schedule is prepared after PIs have all entered their PH2; if not knowing the telescope schedule in advance causes problems for your PH2, please email qsoteam -=at=- for further instructions.
  2. NEW since 09A: we now offer non-sidereal tracking with all 3 instruments. Please consult the Tutorials below for a few helpful tips (about guiding, maximum length of exposures, disabled options, etc.).
  3. NEW for ESPaDOnS: users can prepare and upload their own Finding Charts. Please see the Tutorial for requirements.
  4. If you have any question or comment, please email the QSO Team (qsoteam -=at=- Do NOT email individual members of the team, because this can delay answers depending on each member's schedule.

List of 2009B QSO programs for MegaPrime, WIRCam, and ESPaDOnS.

The documentation has been re-organized and simplified. Two short documents present How QSO works at CFHT and the General Principals of Phase 2 (PH2). Each document starts with an Abstract and a set of keywords, to help users find topics of interest. All users are encouraged to read those documents at least once, which should take about 15 minutes.

The tutorials for each instruments have been simplified and updated. A short section at the top summarizes the basics of PH2. A Table of Content and links throughout the tutorials ease navigation. The tutorials are available within PH2 through the "Tutorial" button, or directly from the following links:

PH2 Tutorial for MegaCam

PH2 Tutorial for WIRCam

PH2 Tutorial for ESPaDOnS

CFHT HQ Main Site:

Open the Phase 2 Tool !
CFHT Backup Site:

Open the Phase 2 Tool !

MegaCam/WIRCam/ESPaDOnS If you are not already familiar with the MegaCam and WIRCam mosaic cameras or the spectropolarimeter ESPaDOnS, or for any news concerning these instruments, you should consult their respective Web pages:
Megacam WIRCam ESPaDOnS

Contacting the QSO Team

You need to contact the QSO Team? Please send an email to qsoteam -=at=- During a QSO run, communication between the investigators and the QSO Team will be done exclusively through the QSO Coordinator, not the QSO observer. For the status of your program, please refer first to the Web night reports (below).

Target-of-Opportunity (TOO) Programs

The QSO mode is well-adapted for target-of-opportunity programs. If you want to submit unpredictable TOO observations to be carried out in a queue mode with the MegaCam, WIRCam or ESPaDOnS during the current semester, you must fill up a special Web form. Following this information, the CFHT Executive Director will review your proposal. If telescope time is allocated, the QSO Team will either ask the PI to fill in the required PH2 information, or extract the necessary information from the Web form and prepare the observations. If you have already received telescope time from the TAC for your TOO program, you do NOT have to fill this form.

The complete CFHT TOO policy and the proposal submission form are available below:

TOO Policy TOO Proposal Form

Night Reports - Program Status

During a semester, night reports are available from this page, after data evaluation performed by the QSO Team (done following each observing night).  The night report page allows the user also to extract the current status on the QSO programs. Thus, you will not have to contact us to know what's happening with your observing program.  We are also publishing some statistics on the QSO mode during a given semester (see next section). More information, notably regarding the weather conditions and data distribution, have also been added to these reports. Suggestions are also welcome!
QSO Night Reports

Current Statistics

The current statistics on the QSO mode are now available on this page. This includes the time distribution for the different Agencies as well as some global numbers on the programs.
Current Statistics (MegaCam)

Current Statistics (WIRCam)

Current Statistics (ESPaDOnS)

Proprietary Period

The proprietary period of QSO data extends by default to 1 year + 1 month starting at the end of the QSO semester. For instance, data taken for the 2009B semester (August 1 - January 31) will have a default release date set to 02/28/2011. The extra month is allowed because of possible delays in the data reduction distribution of observations carried out near the end of a semester. If an extension is requested in Poopsy during the Phase 1 period and is approved by TAC, a new date will be set for this program through the QSO system. This release date for the QSO data is indicated in the fits headers by the keyword REL_DATE.

Note: Since data can be taken at almost any time during a semester in a queue mode, it will not be possible to change the release date after the beginning of a semester. For snapshot programs, the proprietary period is three months following the end of the semester. The CFHTLS data have a different release date, regarding the proprietary period system supported by the Board of Directors.

Documentation and Reports

QSO Project Technical Documentation

QSO reports for semesters: 2008B 2008A 2007B 2007A 2006B 2006A 2005B 2005A 2004B 2004A 2003B 2003A 2002B 2002A 2001B 2001A

Other links

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