10September - KPNO Update

Thursday, September 10, 2020 4:04 PM

NOIRLab/KPNO has announced that they have been granted approval by AURA to upgrade to Phase 1 operations, pending approval of the Tohono O’odham Unified Command.  This essentially would mean an increase in staffing on the summit (not to full staffing yet) starting as early as next week.

While this upgrade from Phase 0 to Phase 1 is an important step towards the eventual resumption of normal operations on the mountain and at MDM, there is really no change to the current status at MDM associated with this phase change.  The one exception is that we may be able to gain approval for essential scheduled maintenance that involves outside vendors (e.g. preventative maintenance for UPS and generator systems).  However, it must be stressed that this does not change the observational status of MDM—we remain closed to science operations.  

On a related note, you may have noticed a schedule is now posted for the 2020b semester.  Please note that this is currently more to act as a placeholder so we know where things stand once we gain approval for science operations to resume.  Notice will be posted on this blog, as well as sent directly to affected observers when the time is appropriate.

As always, stay safe and stay tuned.  Thanks for your patience!