Queued Service Observations

Since 2008, the vast majority of the observations performed at CFHT are conducted under the Queued Service Observations (QSO) mode. QSO started in 2001 with CFH12k, and is now used with MegaCam (2003), WIRCam (2005), ESPaDOnS (2008), and SITELLE (2015).

QSO Users: Enter the QSO site!

The main concept behind the QSO mode is to execute programs only during the sky conditions (seeing, background, clouds, etc.) requested by Principals Investigators (PIs) in order to meet the programs' science goals. This is achieved by grouping all programs in a database and by selecting appropriate observations according to a set of constraints, rules, and sky conditions. Programs are then carried out by a well trained, local team of observers in a service mode (i.e. investigators are not present at the observatory).

The Queued Service Observing mode used at CFHT offers many advantages over Classical Observing:

  • higher efficiency on the sky (because Remote Observers are highly trained and observe frequently)
  • high priority given to the most important projects (i.e., those highly ranked)
  • observations carried under constraints specified by PIs (e.g. Image Quality requirement)
  • observations carried at a specific time on a specific night, if needed (e.g. for an exoplanet transit)
  • very short observations possible (e.g. 2 hrs or less)
  • unexpected and short notice events can be observed (e.g. Gamma Ray bursts)

In addition to performing the observations for the PIs, CFHT also pre-reduces all data to remove instrumental signatures (for our visible imager MegaCam and our infrared imager WIRCam), or reduces the data from beginning to end to provide spectra (for our spectropolarimeter ESPaDOnS and our optical imaging Fourier transform spectrometer SITELLE). Additional services such as Night Reports, Weather information, and calibrations are also offered.

The QSO Team

QSO Manager: N. Manset
QSO Operations Specialist: T. Burdullis
System Programmer: T. Vermeulen
Database Specialist: B. Mahoney
Remote Observers: P. Forshay, L. Wells, D. Woodworth, C. Wipper
Queue Coordinators: T. Burdullis, N. Manset, P. Fouqué, C. Moutou, S. Prunet, A. Petric, L. Rousseau-Nepton, P. Forshay, C. Wipper

Contact information

For questions related to QSO in general or to a program conducted in QSO mode, please contact the QSO Team by sending an email to qsoteam -=at=- cfht.hawaii.edu