Instrument: As the software that converts Astronomical Observation Templates (AOT's) into actual instrument commands is now complete, we have performed a test campaign on the spare model dedicated to testing each CAM AOT. In particular, AOT's planned for the Performance Verification (PV) phase were tested during this campaign. Also tested was a large part of the uplink system, the system that allows the transmission of commands to CAM. No problem was reported during these tests. Identical tests are carried out during the two End to End tests performed from the VillaFranca station.
Observations: A complete first draft of the PV phase has been produced. It includes wavelength and photometric calibrations, measurements of the Point Spread Function and vignetting, linearity tests, straylight evaluation and validation of the observing modes (micro-scanning and beamswitching). It is gradually being reviewed and integrated into ISO 's observations database.
Observers: A new version of ISOCAM's performance estimator is now available via anonymous ftp at `iscam1.ias.fr'.
An addendum to ISOCAM Observer's Manual has been written, it is available upon request at the following address `firstname.lastname@example.org'. This addendum is also available at Proposal Data Entry Center (PDEC). We have also made an ``official statement'' regarding the use of Clean, Dark and Calibration procedure, available at the same places. In brief, we recommend the observer to make a very limited use of the clean procedure as it induces long lasting gain changes for which we cannot guarantee the possibility of a posteriori correction. For Dark and Calibration, a library will be assembled with the accuracy quoted in ISOCAM observer's manual. Most observations can be calibrated this way, and by making sure that a correct estimation of the background is performed during the observation (e.g. raster larger than the expected source size). Note however that a detailed assessment of the calibration library quality can only be made during the PV phase; observers with borderline cases should thus request Darks or Calibration.
We have developed a tool to compute the actual time required by an observation, as opposed to the performance estimator which lets you decide which configuration will allow you to meet your objectives and gives only an estimate of the time required. This tool is also available upon request at the address mentioned above, and at PDEC, but requires a machine using DCL (a move to UNIX is not expected soon).