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Overview

The PreCam Survey is a quick, bright survey within the footprint of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) in the DES grizy filter system using a small mosaic camera of DES CCDs placed on the University of Michigan Department of Astronomy’s Curtis-Schmidt telescope at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO).  A major goal of the PreCam Survey is to provide improved photometric calibrations for the DES using what is, in essence, a 1/32nd-scale version of the Dark Energy Camera.

Upgrades to the Curtis-Schmidt and PreCam instrument commissioning is scheduled for August 2010.  PreCam Survey operations are scheduled for September 2010 and mid-November 2010 to late-January 2011 (with possible breaks to accommodate the Curtis-Schmidt's NASA space debris program).

The PreCam Survey observing proposal can be found at this URL.

New PreCam Observers

As a new PreCam observer you need to be trained. The best way to do this is to fly into La Serena and go up to CTIO the same day, and watch the current observers as they begin the night. The next night, your first night, they will train you by having you do the telescope prep, opening, and camera prep under their close supervision. New PreCam Observers should consult the following links before traveling to CTIO:

At the Telescope

At the telescope we are concerned first with safety of the personnel and instrument, then with increasing the usability and precision of the instrument, and finally with collecting the  high quality, high precision, high accuracy data of the PreCam survey.

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