Phase 2 procedures for ESO Public Surveys

Public Survey projects are large collaborative survey programmes, that will address many of the open fundamental astrophysics questions and at the same time will provide useful observations for the whole astronomical community. Currently there are approved 6 imaging public surveys on VISTA and 3 imaging public surveys on VST. The VISTA public surveys started with early survey observations at the end of 2009. The VST public surveys started in 2011. In early 2012 observations of 2 spectroscopic public surveys will start at ESO. The public spectroscopic surveys will be carried out in visitor mode on the VLT UT2 telescope with FLAMES and on NTT with EFOSC2 and SOFI instruments.

The imaging public surveys are scheduled in service mode and submission of Phase 2 package for the imaging Public Surveys must follow the same procedure as regular programmes, described in the Instructions for Phase 2 preparation of Service Mode runs. For specific information regarding VISTA or VST observations please select the appropriate instrument in the upper right Instrument Selector pull-down menu.

The following important points must be taken into account when preparing the Phase 2 package for ESO Public Surveys:

  • The observation blocks for VIRCAM on VISTA and for OmegaCAM on VST have to be created with the new P2PP version 3 (P2PP3) tool. Preparation of observing blocks for spectroscopic public surveys (VLT and La Silla telescopes) should use P2PP version 2.13.1 tool that is used for normal and large programmes on these telescopes.
  • A survey definition file, provided as input to P2PP3, is a file that contains the list of central coordinates of pointings for each tile, together with the lists of suitable guide stars and active optics stars. This file has to be prepared using Survey Area Definition Tool (SADT). SADT is a mandatory preparation tool for VISTA public surveys.
  • For information about the VISTA telescope and its camera VIRCAM, please see the instrument web page. The VISTA/VIRCAM User's Manual should be consulted for the description of observing templates that have to be selected in P2PP to prepare the observing blocks.
  • For information about the VST telescope and its camera OmegaCAM, please see the instrument web page. The OmegaCAM User's Manual and Template Manual should be consulted for the description of observing templates and observation preparation.
  • Several VIRCAM video tutorials show how to prepare a survey area definition file with the SADT, as well as some example observing blocks within P2PP version 3 tool. These preparation of OmegaCAM OBs for VST surveys should follow the same steps as VIRCAM OB preparation.

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