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12 July 2008 Target of opportunity observing in queue mode at the Gemini North Observatory
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The Gemini Observatories primarily operate a multi-instrument queue, with observers selecting observations that are best suited to weather and seeing conditions. Queue operations give higher ranked programs a greater chance for completion than lower ranked programs requesting the same conditions and instrument configuration. Queue observing naturally lends itself to Target of Opportunity (ToO) support since the time required to switch between programs and instruments is very short, and the staff observer is trained to operate all the available instruments and modes. Gemini Observatory has supported pre-approved ToO programs since beginning queue operations, and has implemented a rapid (less than 15 minutes response time) ToO mode since 2005. We discuss the ToO procedures, the statistics of 2+ years of rapid ToOs at Gemini North Observatory, the science that this important mode has enabled, and some recent software modifications which have improved both standard and rapid ToO support in the Gemini Observing Tool.
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Katherine Roth, Paul Price, Kim Gillies, Bryan Miller, and Shane Walker "Target of opportunity observing in queue mode at the Gemini North Observatory", Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 70161Z (12 July 2008);


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