All observing on the Keck telescopes is now done from one of the approved remote facilities
or from one of the remote observing rooms located in the "Kohala Wing" of the WMKO
Headquarters complex in Waimea (Kamuela), HI where technical support for observers
is more readily available, computing and other support facilities are more
extensive, and oxygen deprivation less prevalent than on the 13,796 ft
(4200 m) Mauna Kea summit. A Polycom teleconferencing link provides
excellent audio and video contact between the observing
team and the observing assistant (OA), who operates the telescope
from the control room at the Mauna Kea summit.
Scientists' Quarters" (VSQ) maintained by WMKO consists of ten very comfortable motel-style day-sleeper units and a large, separate "commons" area containing
a self-service kitchen, dining room, entertainment area, laundry facility, and
computing room with workstations and network connections for laptops. These
are located approximately 70 meters from the Kohala Wing.
Rather than travel to Headquarters in Hawaii, experienced Keck observers may choose
to have part or all of their team observe remotely from one of
several mainland or other approved remote sites which offer facilities and support for
remote observing. Use of these sites may be done in either an
"eavesdropping" mode, with at least one member of the observing
team in Waimea at the controls, or in "mainland-only" mode, with
the entire team at the remote site. All instruments are available for remote use. It is important to
notify us well in advance if you intend to make use of a mainland or other remote
site for your Keck run; this is required so we can ensure
availability of the site. Mainland-only mode observing is available only from selected sites as indicated on the site summary web page. This page also indicates which sites permit outside observers to access the facility and which restrict access to local staff only.
Please see the
mainland observing policy for further details on how to request use of the mainlnad or other remomte observing facilities for you run.