Having FIES now available permanently raise some practically issues. For the regular observing runs this actually means a fundamental change as with the various monitoring and ToO programs the observers should be able to operate both the Cassegrain instrument (ALFOSC or NOTCam) and the standby instruments (FIES and StanCam). In the past StanCam was really only used for simple imaging observations for NOTCam or visitor instruments (SOFIN, TurPol, etc.). Now, e.g., NOTCam observers might need to do observations with FIES, or FIES observers might need to do spectroscopy or polarimetry with ALFOSC. As it is impossible to fully train observers, the best way is to limit the actions needed by the observer by automating things and to provide detailed (very specific, not extensive) instructions. The objective is to provide a set-up which gives sufficient information and allows the observer to do very specific observations without the need for extensive instructions which might not even be needed.
As a first step a `flow chart' was made of the various steps that are needed when switching between the different instruments (including things like moving the pick-off mirror to re-direct the light, changing the telescope focus, etc) and we are now working on (automated) procedures and instructions to make this easier.
Thomas Augusteijn 2008-01-11