WMKO supports observing from selected sites on the U.S. mainland and Australia.

Modes of Operation

WMKO offers three modes of operation for mainland observing:
Eavesdrop mode:
Observers both at Keck HQ and the mainland site. Instrument control is shared. Eavesdrop requests are due 2 weeks before the run.
Mainland-only mode:
No observers at Keck HQ. At least one member of the mainland team must have used the scheduled instrument in the last two years. Mainland requests are due 4 weeks before the run.
Video-only mode:
Videoconferencing access at a remote site, with no instrument control. Video requests are due 1 business day before the run.

Requesting Use of Mainland Observing Facilities

Please note that all requests are contingent on: Following submission of your request, WMKO will notify you within 2 business days regarding the decision.


Pre-run Checkout

Remote observers are responsible for scheduling a time with your local site manager to perform checkout of the video and VNC sessions prior to the run as described in this checklist. Please consult the telescope schedule to determine which observing account you have been assigned, which determines which VNC servers you should connect with. Observers should complete this checkout procedure at least one business day (but not more than 5 calendar days) before the run to ensure that both are operating correctly, and should contact their support astronomer if any problems occur.

Internet Outages

Although Internet outages are now less frequent than in the past, they can still occur without warning and may affect your run. As mentioned above, observers accept the potential risk of lost observing time when agreeing to make use of remote sites. In an outage, your options depend on your operating mode: If the Internet connection fails, you may ask the OA to contact Keck software personnel to determine whether or not the fault lies within the Keck network. If the Keck network is the problem, then we will do our best to fix it. If the problem lies within your network, you will need to contact your local site manager to diagnose the problem. If the problem lies outside the local networks, then we may not be able to assist.

NOTE: It is not appropriate to ask the your Observing Assistant or Support Astronomer to operate the instrument for you in case the Internet fails. By using the mainland site, you accept the risk that you may lose observing time to Internet outages.

Further information

For additional information about mainland observing with Keck, please contact the .