The plotting and summary capabilities of SCHED make it useful for experiment planning. When writing a proposal, it can be used to determine the appropriate GST ranges for a source and to explore the u-v coverage available. While designing a schedule, it can be used for the same purposes and to experiment with various detailed schedules. It is also possible to plot the distribution on the sky of sources, either just the sources in the schedule, or, in addition, all of the sources in the catalog. This might be useful for selecting calibrators.
The most effective use of SCHED for planning involves using 5 windows on a windowing system. The first is the one in which SCHED was started. The second is the plot control panel brought up by SCHED. The third is the actual plot window used by SCHED. The fourth is your favorite editor in which changes to the main SCHED input are being made between REstarts. The fifth has some sort of listing tool, such as more or less in unix, which can be used to examine the summary file.
The schedule to use for planning can be very simple. In fact the simple example at the end of the Examples section is designed exactly for this purpose. One of the other examples, egplan.key is also well set up for this. Multiple sources can be specified, or a REstart can be done after editing in each source that is to be examined. The optimization mode UPTIME is especially useful for planning. Also, if you are trying hypothetical stations, or stations for which you don’t have setup information and which are not in the frequency file, you may wish to use NOSETUP to completely turn off all need for setup information (of course, you cannot then write telescope control files with NOSETUP active).