Client Service Charter


Who We Are

The Australian National University operates the 3.9-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) on Siding Spring Mountain, outside Coonabarabran, NSW. 

Our Purpose

The main purpose of the AAT is to provide world-class optical observing facilities enabling Australian and other astronomers to do excellent science.

Our Clients

Our clients are the astronomers who are awarded observing time through the Australian Time Allocation Committee (ATAC).


This Charter sets out our commitments towards the service we will provide to you. It also sets out what you can do to make sure you get the best possible outcome from your observing run.

The Observatory is committed to maintaining and improving the quality of its services. We will monitor our performance in meeting the commitments set out in this Charter and change it as necessary. Your suggestions for improvement would be valued.

The AAT reports on its performance through reports to the AAT Council.

If you have a complaint

If you have a problem or a complaint, please let the Director know of your concerns and, if possible, how you think improvements might be made. You can phone on +61 2 6125 0238 or email:

What you can expect from us


  • We will be helpful and courteous in our dealings with you

Telescope Operations

  • The AAT  will be fully operational at the start of each scheduled observing night.
  • A technician will be on duty during the first part of the night to respond immediately to any technical problems.
  • At other times the afternoon shift technician wil be available in case of emergencies
  • An AAT night assistant will be on duty all night and will operate the telescope. If there are any problems during the night, the night assistant will take immediate action either to fix the problem or arrange for someone else to fix it.


  • If a support astronomer is provided he/she will get in touch with you to confirm the details of your observing run at least four weeks prior to the run.
  • We will provide the instrumentation at the start of the night that will enable you to undertake your scientific program as specified.
  • We will make available full documentation to guide you in carrying out your observations.

Data Exploitation

  • We will provide adequate computer hardware and software to allow you to store, access and analyse all data acquired with AAT instrumentation during your observing run.

General Working Environment

  • We will provide office space and facilities for each visiting observer.
  • We will provide a comfortable and functional control room.


  • We will promptly respond to your inquiries.
  • We will via our web service assist you arranging accommodation at the Siding Spring Observatory Lodge.

What we would like you to do

  • Advise the AAT of your arrival date and accommodation requirements for your observing run through the appropriate form on our web pages.
  • Arrive properly prepared for your observing run.
  • Ensure that your computer has up to date virus removal software and is virus-free.
  • Make yourself familiar with the safety guidelines and follow them at all times.
  • Be thoughtful and considerate in the demands you make of AAT staff.
  • Make sure your data is recorded on a suitable backup medium at the end of your observing run.
  • Promptly report any problems using the AAT Fault Log.
  • Give us constructive feedback on our service using the observer report form. If we do particularly well or if you have suggestions as to how we may improve our service, let us know.