JCMT Operations Temporarily Suspended

Dear JCMT Community,

This week, the pending start of the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope has sparked a protest which has blocked access to Maunakea for all traffic. Yesterday afternoon, the directors of the existing observatories made the joint decision to remove all personnel from their telescope facilities at the summit to guarantee the safety of their staff – the institutions’ top priority. Without guaranteed, reliable access to the telescopes, the Maunakea Observatories have suspended all summit activities (including remote operations) for the time being.

The safety of everyone on the mountain, MKO staff, law enforcement, and protestors is of paramount importance to us. We have voluntarily decided to remove our staff. This is not a decision we came to lightly, but want to emphasize the importance of safety for all staff and facilities.

We are truly grateful to the law enforcement offices who have been working around the clock to ensure the safety of everyone on Maunakea. The safety of our personnel – and of everyone on the mountain – remains our top priority.

We look forward to returning to normal operations as soon as the situation allows.

From the JCMT Team, Aloha and thank you for understanding.

EAO Futures meeting – a stepping stone to White Papers

The EAO Sub-mm Futures meeting held last week in Nanjing was a great success. All talks from the meeting are provided on the meeting program pages.

At the meeting the JCMT observatory had two major announcements:

1) The Observatory is seeking White Papers in support of a new 850 micron camera

The observatory seeks community input in the form of scientific White Papers in support of a new 850 micron camera for the JCMT. More information regarding the white papers will be provided at the EAO Futures Discussion wiki. Specifically White papers will be sought for:

The observatory is also soliciting for additional White Papers in addition to the above. All White Papers are to be submitted (visit the EAO wiki for a comprehensive list that have already been proposed). Deadline June 30th. A detailed description of the specification for the new 850 micron camera can be found here.

2) Announcing the JCMT Call for Large Programs (III)

The East Asian Observatory is pleased to provide an announcement of the third Call for JCMT Large Programs. At this time 4,800 hours will be available for Large Programs up until the end of the 2022B semester. This information is being provided ahead of the opening of the 20A Call in order for current and new teams to pursue discussion and planning. Submissions will be accepted from August 15th up until the September 15th deadline. This will likely coincide with the 20A PI Call. Fore more details click here. To reach the proposal handling system, Hedwig, and submit a proposal click here:

https://proposals.eaobservatory.org/

For further details visit our proposal web pages.

Supplementary Call for Proposals in Semester 16B

For the second successive summer, we have experienced unusually poor weather at the start of the B-semester, and we are facing a period of 7 weeks without SCUBA-2 in October and November, as it undergoes important maintenance. The combination of these events has severely impacted our supply of approved band-3/4 heterodyne programs.

We therefore invite new proposals to observe targets with 20h < RA < 04h with HARP and/or RxA, for immediate assessment, approval and execution.

See here for details; where the ‘Semester’ in question is called ’16X’.

You can reach the proposal handling system, Hedwig,  and find complete details of this Call at:

https://proposals.eaobservatory.org/

Any further questions should be directed to our helpdesk:

helpdesk@eaobservatory.org

If this is your first visit to Hedwig, you should go to ‘Log in’ and generate an account. There is a ‘Help’ facility at the upper right corner, and individual Help tags at many other places.

This Call for Proposals closes on the 11th of October 2016. We welcome submissions now.

– 2016/09/27

Status of SCUBA-2

SCUBA-2 was recently returned to service after a 5-week-long absence due to a partial cryogen blockage. It has been returned to full service, despite requiring alternative operating conditions because of a problem diagnosed with one of the Pulse Tube Coolers. This issue has left the instrument filters at temperatures that are fractionally warmer than normal. SCUBA-2 operation will be maintained until October 5, when it will be removed from the telescope to replace the PTCs and also install new optical filters which we expect to improve the instrument performance. SCUBA-2 return to service is expected on or before November 24.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep you updated as to our progress.

– 2016/08/03

POL-2 information for 16B proposals

For potential PIs who wish to submit a POL-2 proposal for semester 16B (deadline 2016-03-16 01:00 UT), we have now prepared a brief guide page with details on the estimated sensitivity and observing mode of the instrument, at:

http://www.eaobservatory.org/jcmt/instrumentation/continuum/scuba-2/pol-2/

The Integration Time Calculator in Hedwig has also been updated. When performing a SCUBA-2 calculation, you can now select the POL-2 scan pattern POL-2 Daisy, to get a POL-2 time or noise estimate.

Please do remember, the 16B call for proposal closes in only 15 days!

JCMT announces new Deputy Director – Jessica Dempsey

We welcoming Jessica Dempsey to the role of Deputy Director of the JCMT. In addition to this we are proud to announce she has been also just been recognized with a Women Who Mean Business award for “Women to Watch”.

Jess-wwmb1

Jessica Dempsey receiving the award for “Women to Watch” March 2016.

Jess-WWMB

Jessica Dempsey winner of “Women to Watch” 2016.

– 2016/03/01

Call for Proposals 16B

The East Asian Observatory is happy to invite PI observing proposals for semester 16B at JCMT (for details see here).

Semester 16B runs from 01 August 2016 to 31 January 2017. You can reach the proposal handling system, Hedwig,  and find complete details of this Call at:

https://proposals.eaobservatory.org/

New in 16A: the likely availability of POL-2. If you are interested
in doing polarimetry with SCUBA-2 please contact us at

helpdesk@eaobservatory.org

If this is your first visit to Hedwig, you should go to ‘Log in’ and generate an account. There is a ‘Help’ facility at the upper right corner, and individual Help tags at many other places.

The 16B Call for Proposals closes on the 15th of March 2016.