Maunakea Operations and Engineering Workshop


Registration is now CLOSED for the Maunakea Operations and Engineering Workshop

We are sorry but at this time we have reached our peak capacity for the Workshop. Should you wish to inquire if any spaces have opened up, please contact Jessica Dempsey at j.dempsey”at”

We invite interested Maunakea Observatory staff to attend the first joint workshop on Observatory Operations and Engineering practices. The intent is to bring together the shared experience of the largest collection of telescope engineers, technicians and scientists to discuss the good, the bad and the downright ugly of large telescope operations from the technical details through to science support.


Location: Subaru Telescope Headquarters, Hilo

Date: December 8th, 10:00am – 5:00pm

Lunch will be provided, from 1pm – 2pm.

A social session at Imiloa Astronomy Centre will follow, from 5pm to 7pm, with drinks and pupus provided.




Morning Sessions:

10:00 am – 11:00 am: Remote Operations in practice 

Session Leads: Atsuko Nitta (Gemini) and Paul Stomski (Keck)

10:00am –  Atsuko Nitta (Gemini) Remote Operations at Gemini

10:15am – Paul Stomski (Keck)  Remote Operations: common concerns and opportunities

10:30am – Michael Poehlen (Gemini) Remotely judging the weather on Maunakea

10:40am – Sunny Stewart (Gemini) Dust monitoring

11:00am – 12:00 pm: Critical Failures: Lessons learned

Session Lead: Rich Matsuda (Keck)

11:00am – Rich Matsuda (Keck) – MOSFIRE incident

11:15am – Michael Connelley (IRTF)-  Lessons from the NSFcam explosion

11:25am – Marcel Tognetti (Gemini) –  Gemini North shutter improvements

11:35am – Thomas Benedict (CFHT) –  Megacam coating failure and removal

11:45am – Greg Green (CFHT) –  Megacam filter juke box

11:55am – Hirofumi Okita (Subaru) –  Subaru hatch failure


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Observatory Metrics 

Session Lead: Jessica Dempsey (JCMT)

12:00pm – Jessica Dempsey (JCMT) –  Maunakea Metrics

12:10pm – Andy Adamson (Gemini) – Operational and productivity metrics at Gemini

12:20pm – Bill Gorman (Subaru) –  Monitoring helium pressure to predict cold-head failure

12:30pm – Grant Hill (Keck) –  Metrics for the wary

12:40pm – Shui Hung Kwok (Keck) –  Performance metrics at the W.M. Keck telescope

12:50pm – Tomonori Tamura (Subaru) –  Measurement of instantaneous voltage drop at Subaru



1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch

2:00pm – 4:30 pm: Breakout Sessions:

Breakout Sessions:

Session topics:

  1. Domes and Shutters [Session Lead: Steve Bauman (CFHT)] –
    1. Steve Bauman – Domes and Shutters Introduction
    2. Steve Bauman – The Ghost in the Shutter
    3. Heather Marshall – DKIST Enclosure Overview
    4. John Baldwin – Domes and Shutters: preventative/predictive maintenance tools
  2. Vacuum and Cooling systems [Session Lead: Dan Bintley (JCMT)] – Gemini conference room
  3. Preventative Maintenance Techniques [Session Lead: Grant Hill (Keck)] –
    1. Grant Hill – Creation of a preventative maintenance program at W.M. Keck
    2. Tom Vermeulen – Preventative Maintenance System improvements at CFHT
    3. Ivan Look – Switch to Circuit 2
  4. Real-time Telescope Control Systems [Session Lead: Craig Walther (JCMT)] –
    1. Breaking away from Windriver
    2. EAO Real Time Telescope Control
    3. Rejecting Harmonic Vibrations
    4. Upgraded control system at CFHT
  5. Science Support [Session Lead: Alison Peck (Gemini)] –
    1. Science Support session discussion points

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Session summaries and reports – Subarur conference room

5:00pm – 7:00pm: Drinks and Pupus at Imiloa Astronomy Centre



For further details, pleasea contact your Observatory Workshop committee member. The committee members are as follows:

  • Derrick Salmon (CFHT)
  • Andy Adamson (Gemini)
  • Simon Radford (SMA)
  • Jessica Dempsey (JCMT)
  • Rich Matsuda (Keck)
  • John Rayner (IRTF)
  • Colin Aspin (UH88)
  • Naruhisa Takato (Subaru)

If you are not an Observatory staff member, and wish to inquire about attending, please contact Jessica Dempsey at

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