MDM Telescope
Trouble Report
Submission Instructions

General Information

All MDM observers are required to submit a Trouble Report if any hardware or software problems were encountered.

There is no such thing as a "minor problem". Even what appears to be a mere annoyance maybe a symptom of bigger problems on the way. Sometimes a bunch of seemingly trivial minor trouble reports reveal a pattern that can let us get to a problem before it costs someone observing time.

The run you save may be your own! Please fill out trouble reports early and often!

To make this process easier, we have created a Trouble Report Web Form. This form allows us to establish a standard format for reports, store them in a central web-based database that can be accessed later, and email them to all responsible parties via the MDM "trouble" email list.

A separate form is provided for submitting Nightly Observer's Reports. Please see the Observer's Report Submission Instructions for details.

This document describes how to submit a trouble report with the web form, and describes the entries on the web form.

Submitting a Trouble Report

The URL for the Trouble Report web form is:

This should be a bookmark in the Netscape browsers for the observer's workstations in each dome. If not, please make a bookmark, thanks!

Trouble Reports are submitted in three easy steps:

Step 1: Fill in the Report Form

Bring up the blank trouble report form and fill in the blanks. The entries are:
  1. Observer name(s) and home institution(s)
  2. The telescope and instrument you are using
  3. The Date
  4. Approxinate number of hours lost to the problem.
  5. A brief summary of the problem.

Step 2: Review the Draft Report

After filling out the form, hit the Next> button. You will be shown new page with a draft of your trouble report and asked to review it and make changes before final submission. Changes are made by using the Back button on your browser to return to the entry form.

Trouble reports are filed by Date and Telescope. Both of these must be be entered correctly before submitting the final report. The observer filling in the form is responsible for making sure the date & telescope are correct.

Step 3: Submit the Final Report

Once you are happy with the report, submit it by hitting the Submit Final Report button that appears below the draft report.

Hitting this button this sets into motion the following actions:
  1. The form is stored in the online Observer's Report archive. This has a web-based index that lets you read your trouble report and all previous trouble reports submitted via the web form.

  2. It sends the report via email to all members of the MDM trouble email list. This list includes the observatory director, mountain superintendant, and personnel from the MDM partner institutions who are responsible for the instruments and their various subsystems.

Trouble Report Form Entries

Enter the name(s) of the observer(s). The PI's name should appear first.

Enter the home institutions(s) of the observer(s).

Select the telescope you are using from the menu.

Enter the name of the instrument you are using. For example, if using Modspec with the Wilbur CCD, type "Modspec + Wilbur".

Select the local date (not UT!) of the start observing night for this trouble report.

For example, the night starting at sunset on 2000 June 12 and ending at dawn on June 13 would be observing date "2000 Jun 12". For our purposes, an "observing day" runs from noon-to-noon. The form generation script will attempt to guess the appropriate date for the report.

Total Hours Lost
Enter an estimate of the total number of hours of observing time that was lost to the problem. This may include calibration observations like twilight flats, etc.

Trouble Report
Enter a narrative summary of the problem that occured, any details you think might help solve the problem, and what you were doing at the time it happened. Please don't stint on important details. If you managed to solve the problem yourself, briefly describe how, so we can inform others of what to do.

Use the "BACK" button on your browser to return to the Trouble Report Form in progress.

Updated: 2000 December 14 [rwp/osu]