Remote Observing at Yale

Scheduling your session

  • Contact Keck observatory at least 4 weeks prior to your run through the Keck Observer’s Login Page to request the use of the Yale Remote Observing Facility (YROF), following standard procedures for mainland observing. Keck staff will then contact the Yale RO coordinator and the Keck support astronomer to obtain approval.  Note:  in order to reduce stress on our remote observing resources, we need to enforce this 4-week window.   For routinely scheduled observing runs that do not make their request before the 4-week window, a late request fee of $100 will be charged if the run is approved.
  • If YROF allocation criteria are met, you will be booked from 6pm ET (12n/1p HI time) until 1pm ET (7a/8a) the next day for each night of your observing run. You will receive an automatically generated E-mail informing you whether you have been approved for remote observing.
  • The support staff at Yale will test the VNC and video systems for you before your run; for first-time users an orientation is required during business hours (9a-5p ET M-F) prior to the use of the YROF.

Lodging and transportation

  • Please see the Yale-NASA Keck ROF home page for information about lodging and transportation. You are responsible for making arrangements and for any expenses incurred during your stay.


  • Please plan to arrive in New Haven during business hours (9a-5p ET) so that you can obtain an envelope with a proxy card to access the building, the passcode to enter the YROF and passwords for the equipment. This card must be returned to the drop box located in the YROF at the end of your observing run.

During your run

  • Sign on to both the YROF remote workstation and the Polycom system. Manuals for both of these are online and are also in a binder in the YROF.
  • There is limited local support available in the case of failures of computer equipment or connections. Such support shall not guarantee the proper operation of the YROF.
  • You are responsible for transferring data from Hawai’i to your local computer.

Food and other essentials

  • There is a large refrigerator and microwave in room 003.  There is also a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, toaster and Keurig coffee machine on the first floor of 46 Hillhouse.  For other food options, please see the Yale-NASA Keck ROF home page.
  • For wireless access, sign on to YaleGuest.  This has been more than sufficient for most of our observers.  If you forsee a special need to be registered on the Yale network, please contact your observing support well in advance of the run.
  • There is a couch available in the room.

Clean up, turn off lights and lock door

  • Please clean up and leave the room as clean (or cleaner!) as it was when you came.
  • Log out of all computer programs and end any videoconference or speakerphone calls.
  • Return your keycard to the drop box by the YROF door.
  • Please make sure that the door is locked and secured when you exit the facility.