From Marc Balcells (Director ING)
ING is happy to report that WEAVE delivery and integration into the WHT is progressing well and picking up speed in 2020.
A number of technical problems affecting the completion of WEAVE components in 2019 are now solved or in hand, and we are confident that WEAVE integration activities at the WHT to proceed as planned during winter and spring 2020 after the WHT closes down for science in 17 February. What happens after that is harder to predict but we plan for WEAVE integration to be completed by the end of the summer, and commissioning is expected in the fall of this year. Science verification and science surveys will follow thereafter. These are exciting times. Very busy for ING and the entire WEAVE team but we will do our best to keep the communities informed as the integration proceeds.
WHT 20A ALLOCATIONS:
ING is aware that information gaps on the 20A schedule have led to difficulties for observers who need to plan their observing trips. This note intends to add clarity and provide an update on the availability of 20A WHT time.
Throughout the development of WEAVE, ING’s position has been that any blocks of time becoming available after changes to the WEAVE development schedule should be given to science. The announcement of opportunity for extraordinary WHT time in 2020A, published in November 2019, drew an impressive response, and we acknowledge the effort made by the TACs to review those proposals on a short timescale. In view of the WEAVE integration plans outlined above, it now surfaces that we will not be able to schedule science observations at least until July. WHT 2020A proposals which were granted time by the TACs are being kept by ING to fill any gaps in the WEAVE deployment schedule. Projects will be selected by TAC ranking after factoring in observability. If and when gaps appear, we will notify the PIs. Given that notifications will sometimes be at short notice, ING will be offering to carry out the observations required, during these alloctated nights, if the PIs request it.
We will also aim to maintain updated information in the ING page http://www.ing.iac.es/astronomy/instr.html .