Information for Observers

Operation of the NTT

The new NTT control system is integrated in such a manner that a single point of contact for the system can be used. This single point of contact is a process called BOB (Broker for Observation Blocks).

BOB executes the template files along with the specified parameters as passed on to him by P2PP (Phase 2 Preparation Program) in Visitor Mode, or from the OT in Service Mode (Observing Tool). While it is possible to drive each of the subsystems independently (e.g., set-up the instrument for low resolution spectro using the instrument control panel), this is reserved for testing and engineering purposes, as this is much less efficient.

As opposed to conventional observing mode, in the new NTT, the TIO (Telescope / Instruments Operator) will operate both the telescope and the instrument through the BOB interface. He will assist the observer with all the details of the observing. The astronomer, whether as a visitor (classical observing) or an NTT staff member (in the case of service observing) can then concentrate on the decisions requiring his/her scientific expertise.

Table of Content.

The following table lists links to several pages that will be useful at different stages of your observing project.

  • You are strongly recommended to read those marked with +
  • Those with a (+) constitute advanced readings, that are not indispensable for general users.

The Prop. column refer to the documents needed for the preparation of your Proposal for Observing Time, and you should read those marked in the Obs. column before coming to the telescope to perform your observations. The Service Obs. column lists the pages related to Service Observing (which is currently not offered).

The Technical column indicate the level of the document:

  •   -  is for general user,  and
  •    *    for advanced users.
  •    ***   are very technical documents, aimed mostly at the NTT Team members.

General Documentation

General Documentation Prop. Obs. Service Obs. Technical
Observing with ESO telescopes
General information: availability of telescopes, deadlines, application forms...
Proposal (Phase 1) Preparation and Submission 
Instructions, Web P1 proposal submission system...
+     -
Instrument Pages (including manuals): + + + -
ESO NTT and VLT Exposure Time Calculators + + + -
The Scheduling Tool 
How the observations are scheduled in visitor and service modes
(+)   (+) *
Phase II Proposal Preparation:   + + -
Observing Tool (OT) 
Used to execute the observations in Service Mode
    (+) *
Broker for Observation Blocks (BOB)   (+) (+) *
Standard Calibrations and Calibration Plan 
Including predifined OBs, and list of Standards
+ + + -
Observer's Quick Reference + + +  


Policies Prop. Obs. Service Obs. Technical
Policy for Target of Opportunity Observations (ToO)   (+)    

Technical Documentation

Visitors can safely ignore these

Technical Documentation Prop. Obs. Service Obs. Technical
CCD Control Software       ***
Instrument Processes        ***
Instrument Control:  EMMI - SUSI2 - SOFI       ***
Telescope Control Software       ***
TCS Workstation Processes       ***
Inter-processes Communication       ***