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16 September 2004 APT: what it has enabled us to do
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With the development and operations deployment of the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT), Hubble Space Telescope (HST) proposers have been provided with an integrated toolset for Phase I and Phase II. This toolset consists of editors for filling out proposal information, an Orbit Planner for determining observation feasibility, a Visit Planner for determining schedulability, diagnostic and reporting tools and an integrated Visual Target Tuner (VTT) for viewing exposure specifications. The VTT can also overlay HST’s field of view on user-selected Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) images, perform bright object checks and query the HST archive. In addition to these direct benefits for the HST user, STScI’s internal Phase I process has been able to take advantage of the APT products. APT has enabled a substantial streamlining of the process and software processing tools, which enabled a compression by three months of the Phase I to Phase II schedule, allowing to schedule observations earlier and thus further benefiting HST observers. Some of the improvements to our process include: creating a compact disk (CD) of Phase I products; being able to print all proposals on the day of the deadline; link the proposal in Portable Document Format (PDF) with a database, and being able to run all Phase I software on a single platform. In this paper we will discuss the operational results of using APT for HST's Cycles 12 and 13 Phase I process and will show the improvements for the users and the overall process that is allowing STScI to obtain scientific results with HST three months earlier than in previous years. We will also show how APT can be and is being used for multiple missions.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Brett S. Blacker and Daniel Golombek "APT: what it has enabled us to do", Proc. SPIE 5493, Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies, (16 September 2004);


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