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2 January 2002 Sloan Digital Sky Survey observing time tracking and efficiency measurement
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Accurate and consistent time tracking is essential for evaluating the efficiency of survey observing operations and identifying areas that need improvement. Off the shelf time tracking software, which requires users to enter activities by hand, proved tedious to use and insufficiently flexible. In this paper, we present an alternate time tracking system developed specifically for Sloan Digital Sky Survey observing. This system uses an existing logging system, murmur, to log the beginning and ending times of tracked circumstances, including activities, weather, and problems which effect observing. Operations software automatically generates most entries for routine observing activities; in a night of routine observing, time tracking requires little or no attention from the observing staff. A graphical user interface allows observers to make entries marking time lost to weather and equipment, and to correct inaccurate entries made by the observing software. The last is necessary when the change in activity is not marked by a change in the state of the software or instruments, or when the time is used for engineering or other observing not part of routine survey data collection. A second utility generates reports of time usage from these logs. These reports include totals for the time spent for each observing task, time lost to weather and problems, efficiency statistics for comparison with the survey baseline, and a detailed listing of what activities and problems were present in any covered time period.
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Eric H. Neilsen Jr., Richard G. Kron, and William N. Boroski "Sloan Digital Sky Survey observing time tracking and efficiency measurement", Proc. SPIE 4844, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III, (2 January 2002);


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