Service Mode

This page provides information for Service Mode (SM) Observations specific to FEROS at the La Silla MPG/ESO-2.20m telescope.

As of Period-74, FEROS Service Mode Phase 2 Proposal Preparation is handled by the User Support Department.


The first point of reference is the La Silla SciOps SM instructions. Please read those instructions BEFORE reading further.

General information specific to FEROS can be found on the La Silla FEROS web pages. These pages are unfortunately as yet somewhat incomplete. Please bear with us as we work to bring them fully up to date. In particular:

  1. The User Manual has not yet been updated for the upgraded FEROS at the 2.20m telescope. I hope I will have a more useful (but probably still not a complete) version for you by the end of the first week of February. 
  2. The Template Manual is, as of today, out of date since the Instrument Package (IP) was upgraded (from version 1.12 --> 1.16) today. The changes in the IP are:
    • FAST ReadOut Mode label 625kHz,1,low --> 625kHz,1,med. but this mode should still be considered EXPERIMENTAL thus I do not expect any of you to use it.
    • New Deuterium FlatField lamp template: DO NOT USE, although the template is ready, the lamp itself is not.
    • New telescope Focusing template: SM programmes need NOT use this template since focussing is taken care of by normal operations and is need not be included in your SM programmes.
    So infact although the template manual is technically out of date, it is up to date as far as Period-73 SM should be concerned
  3. p2pp: I have just installed p2pp-2.7 and it seems to work well except that the Reports execution times do not work, therefore please use the information at the OB Execution Times link.
  4. The FEROS calibration plan includes daily SolarSpectra in addition to the standard calibration plan given in the La Silla SM pages.
  5. Please note that the 2.20m telescope has a balancing problem and must be balanced either to the South or the North. During Service Mode time the telescope will almost certainly be balanced to the south, meaning that observations of objects north of ~0degrees can be difficultin the sense that guiding will normally be poor and from time to time the telescope will crash requiring 20-30mins to recover. If your programme includes objects north of 0degrees, please let me know asap.
  6. A standard ESO ETC has not yet been implemented for FEROS though it may be in the near future. In the meantime, please use the Hiedelberg ETC but remember to set the aperture to 220cm.
  7. Finding charts: The field of view of the Fibre Head Viewing TCCD is approxiamtely 6x4 square arcmin, so please provide 10x10 square arcmin finding charts. Please use the FIMS package with the SkyCat Finding Chart plugin to generate the FCs. See the FCs section from the La Silla SciOps SM instructions and bear in mid the following instructions specific to FEROS:
    1. Indicate the target/desired fibre position with a small circle.
    2. Please use images from the Version-II ESO Digitized Sky Survey, Menu option Data-Servers --> Image Servers --> Digitized Sky (Version II) at ESO.
    An example FC generated with the FIMS package is shown below:
    Example FEROS Finding Chart

Finally some advice... remember that FEROS SM OBs are performed in queued service mode along with WFI OBs. This means that the FEROS OBs most likely to get executed are those that are complimentary to typical WFI OBs. Typical WFI OBs require excellent seeing and often require clear to photometric conditions and DARK sky. Therefore FEROS OBs with seeing constraint of 2.0" or more, THIN or even THICK conditions and/or BRIGHT time (or some combination of these constraints) have a HIGH probabiltiy of being executed. Moreover these conditions in most cases will not severely affect the quality of data you achieve except that you may need longer exposure times to achieve the S/N you require.