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Message to accepted HOP proposers: Hinode Ground-based coordination protocol (updated on June 18, 2015)

Congratulations on the acceptance of your proposal to coordinate your ground-based observations with the Hinode satellite! Your Hinode Operation Plan (HOP) has now been cataloged and has been, or will be shortly, scheduled on the monthly calendar. You can see the full list of HOPs at

Please check the text entered under your HOP number to make sure that it is correct. This is the document that the Hinode Chief Observers (COs) will use to make the operational plans for the satellite instruments.

Hinode operational plans are currently developed in morning meetings three times per week as shown. The meetings take place at 10:30 JST (01:30 UT).

Monday meeting: develop plans for Tuesday and Wednesday observations.
Wednesday meeting: develop plans for Thursday and Friday observations.
Friday meeting: develop plans for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday observations.

The plans developed at these meetings are uploaded to the satellite three times per week as shown below1. The uploads take place around 16:30 JST (07:30 UT).

Tuesday upload: operational period for observations on Tuesday and Wednesday
Thursday upload: operational period for observations on Thursday and Friday
Saturday upload: operational period for observations on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

Thus while the planning cycle is discontinuous, Hinode observes on a daily basis. In addition to ground-based coordination programs such as yours, the Hinode COs also have coordinated programs with other satellites and/or Hinode-specific observations to run during operational periods. Determining how to schedule both "fixed-time" ground-based observations that must be run during "best-seeing" times or programs needing coordination with other spacecraft and other programs that can "float" in the timeline is a major challenge for the Hinode planning team. If the COs know that a ground-based HOP will not be run because of weather or seeing, they can free up valuable telemetry and time in order to maximize the scientific output of the satellite.

Therefore the following protocols have been developed for ground-based observers (GBOs) to follow during the entire period of their coordination with Hinode:

  1. GBOs must transmit their targets for observations to the COs by the following deadlines:

    For observations on Tuesday and Wednesday: Monday morning 09:30 JST (00:30 UT)
    For observations on Thursday and Friday: Wednesday morning 09:30 JST (00:30 UT)
    For observations on Sat, Sun, and Mon: Friday morning 09:30 UT (00:30 UT)

    Note that it is possible to refine the pointing coordinates slightly (+/-50") during the Tue, Thu, and Sat morning meetings just prior to the plan uploads, but it is not possible to change the target or duration periods significantly at these meetings.

    Note that for IHOPs this refinement of pointing coordinates is more restricted because IRIS operates on different schedule than Hinode. Five times per week an IRIS planner makes a timeline that includes commands for pointing, observing sequences, downlinks, etc (for the next day (or several days)). Planners start their timeline every weekday by 9 am PDT (Pacific Daylight Savings Time, i.e., 16 UTC) so that, for example, the timeline that covers the time period from 4 UTC Tuesday until 4 UTC Wednesday requires input by 16 UTC Monday. In practice this means the following for IHOPs:

    Pointing refinements for Wednesday and Friday can be done at the Tue and Thu morning meetings, just like for normal HOPs.
    For pointing refinements for Tuesday the IRIS planner needs to be notified before Monday 16 UTC.
    For pointing refinements for Thursday the IRIS planner needs to be notified before Wednesday 16 UTC.
    For pointing refinements for Saturday/Sunday/Monday, the IRIS planner needs to be notified before Friday 16 UTC.

    Any pointing refinement requests need to be sent to the IRIS team as well as the Hinode team (iris_planner _at_

  2. GBOs must send daily email reports to the Hinode COs containing the following details:

    1. Weather at the telescope site.
    2. Seeing at the telescope site.
    3. Summary of data obtained during the previous period (preferably with a "best image" attachment)
    4. Weather forecast for the next two days.

    The email should be sent to the following addresses:

    sot_co _at_
    eis_co _at_
    xrt_co _at_
    iris_planner _at_

    The subject line must begin with the following anti-spam string:


    And should read something like this:

    sot_co:eis_co:xrt_co: HOP XX Ground-based Observing Report and Forecast for Tuesday-Wednesday 15-16 June 2010.

  3. GBOs must also communicate a "minimum success criteria" to the Hinode team prior to the beginning of their HOP or IHOP (preferably in the proposal). Examples are "Observe sunspot penumbral filaments for a total of 5 hours near disk center with both the DST and Hinode" or "Obtain good observations of active region plage at 6 mu-values across the disk", etc. Once your minimum success criteria have been met, your HOP will be lowered in priority during subsequent planning meetings. This does not mean that your HOP will not be run, but it does mean that if a conflict in timing or telemetry arises with another program, your program will likely be altered to accommodate the other. The default minimum success criteria is three observation periods in which good seeing is reported and in which the Hinode instruments performed as requested.

  4. The COs and/or the CP may, but are not required to, decide not to support the HOP under the following conditions:

    The communications in Items 1, 2 *or* 3 are not received.
    The weather and/or seeing forecast is poor.

  5. In addition, the COs and/or the CPs may decide not to execute a pre-scheduled HOP if a significant "Target-of-Opportunity" arises during the HOP. For example, if a major flaring active region emerges during a quiet-Sun HOP study, the COs and the CP can, without warning, decide to switch targets and/or programs at any given daily meeting. This is referred to as "bumping" a HOP from the schedule. Observers whose HOP is bumped will be compensated with an additional period of observation for their HOP after the emergent target observations are finished. We understand that in the case of ground-based observing, this may mean that the compensation can only occur after their ground-based telescope time is finished. In this case the GBO should notify the Science Scheduling Committee (SSC) who will ensure that the bumped HOP is given priority for a future re-run of the program.

Thank you for following these important guidelines in your coordinated observations with Hinode. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the SSC for clarification

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Next: New policy regarding major Up: Guidance for Hinode scientific Previous: Guideline for Hinode scientific
Hinode Team (ISAS/JAXA)