Period 90 Phase 2 Users Workshop

Starting from Period 90 ESO will request the Phase 2 material for all VLT and VLTI Service Mode runs to be prepared with the new P2PP v3.2 tool. This is a newly designed upgrade of the current Phase 2 Proposal Preparation Tool (v. 2.13) which includes new important concepts on how Observation Blocks can be linked together. Many programmes will benefit from these enhanced features.

In order to assist prospective ESO Service Mode users in the preparation of their Phase 2 material, the ESO User Support Department is organizing a workshop on Thursday July 19, 2012 at ESO Garching, Germany. The program will include:

  • An overview of the Phase 2 process
  • An overview of the new Phase 2 tools and resources available to Service Mode users
  • A hands-on tutorial of the new P2PP3 tool and face-to-face assistance with Phase 2 material preparation

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please register as soon as possible. The number of participants will be limited to ~35. Priority will be given to users who have been observing regularly and/or will have been awarded time in service mode for Period 90.

Participants are expected to bring a laptop with P2PP3 already installed.

The new Phase 2 tool version 3 (aka P2PP3)

Principal Investigators of successful ESO telescope proposals specify the details of their observing strategies during the so-called Phase 2 process. The observations are defined using the Phase 2 Proposal Preparation (P2PP) tool, which creates the Observation Blocks (OBs) that have so far been the smallest scheduling unit executable at the telescope. In addition ancillary information is provided via the submission of Finding Charts and a README file that describes the overall observing strategy of the run.

The P2PP tool has been in use at ESO telescopes since 1997 and has recently undergone some significant re-styling. With the start of survey telescopes operations and the complex scheduling of ESO Public Survey observations, ESO took the opportunity to expand the functionalities of the observation preparation (P2PP) and observation tools (OT).

The new version of P2PP (version 3, aka P2PP3) has been introduced for the first time at the end of 2009 on ESO survey telescopes. VISTA and VST Public Survey teams were invited to attend a similar workshop in Garching where the new P2PP3 functionalities were presented. The major enhancement with respect to P2PP2 (currently used at the VLT/I) is the possibility to improve the definition of observing strategies via so-called scheduling containers (for Service Mode programmes only).  In P2PP3, the following scheduling containers can be defined:

  • Time-links of OBs which allow the definition of relative time-delays between individual OBs.
  • Concatenation of OBs which allows the execution of two or more OBs in a sequence without any other observation in between.
  • Groups of OBs which allow the prioritization of a certain group of OBs with respect to another group within the same run.

A short description of the new P2PP3 tool and its scheduling containers is available here. The P2PP3 manual provides a more in-depth description of P2PP3, including the ranking algorithm used to schedule the observations in Service Mode.

The workshop participants are expected to bring a laptop with the P2PP3  already installed. At the end of June 2012, shortly before the release of the telescope time allocations notification (so called webletters), the instructions for download and installation of the P2PP3 version to be used for P90 Phase 2 preparation will be released.


(Meeting location: ESO Garching, Council Room)


10:00 - 10:10 - Welcome and Introduction

10:10 - 10:25 - Phase 2 overview

10:25 - 10:50 - The new Phase 2 Proposal Preparation tool

10:50 - 11:15 - Coffee break

11:15 - 11:40 - Ranking of service mode observations and relative priorities

11:40 - 12:00 - A brief overview of VLT/VLTI instruments

12:00 - 13:30 - Lunch break

13:30 - 15:00 - Practical tutorial: phase 2 preparation with P2PP3

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee break

15:00 - 16:30 - Practical tutorial (continuation)

16:30 - 17:00 - Phase 2 Quiz and feedback from participants


Local Information

The Phase 2 Users Workshop will be held in the Council Room at the ESO Headquarters in Garching.

Workshop participants are expected to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. Information on how to reach Garching and ESO is available from the ESO-travel web page. This is a one-day workshop and therefore no block reservations for hotels have been made. If necessary, information and contact details for hotels in Garching is available from the Garching web page.