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Timing Observations

Joe Patterson and Lynn Cominsky expressed concern over the ability to do timing observations. Joe particularly did not want such proposals to be labeled as `low spacecraft efficiency'. The Committee agreed that such a label was inappropriate and unnecessary, but also thought that observations requiring a substantial `overhead' should be charged for the appropriate amount of observatory time and not just on-target time. The far-earth orbit and the relaxed solar constraint of AXAF-I are expected to make scheduling of time-constrained observations relatively easy, and it was agreed that peer-review guidelines should not discriminate against timing observations. It was also stated that 1 ms absolute timing was desirable. The AXAF requirement is 100 s which will certainly meet this specification. Joe Patterson will give the ASC some mock observing requests to put in the scheduler to test its ability to handle time-critical observations.

The Committee also questioned how the ASC will handle Targets Of Opportunity. Some, such as the bright supernovae, will probably be in proposed programs, but there will be other unexpected phenomena which will be important to observe. There is no formal Director's discretionary time. In the event of an important Target of Opportunity, the ASC Director would take responsibility for deciding to initiate a change to the scheduled AXAF program.