Step 1: Starting the observatory control
Instructions for TheSky/CCDSoft/Orchestrate users
This section describes the procedure which a user of TheSky/CCDSoft/Orchestrate would
follow to start a night's observing run. These instructions assume that you have
already configured TheSky and CCDSoft so that they recognize your telescope
and camera, know the latitude and longitude of your observing station, etc. If you
use TPoint to improve
your telescope's pointing accuracy, a pointing model is assumed to have been built
To start the observing run, follow these steps:
- Start TheSky and CCDSoft, and establish connections to the telescope
- Start the CCD cooler at a suitable time so that it reaches the nighttime working temperature
by the time observations are due to start.
- If necessary, synchronize the telescope with the celestial sphere. In some telescope mounts, such
as the Paramount, the
synchronization will be automatic upon establishing a link from TheSky.
- In CCDSoft, click on Camera -> Auto-Save Setup. Enable the automatic
saving of images (Auto-Save on), set the AutoSave starting number, set the
format (Save As) to FITS, and select/create the directory where the images will be saved.
It may be convenient to use a separate directory for each night.
- Start Orchestrate, and establish connections to TheSky, telescope, and camera
(Connections -> TheSky, Connections -> Telescope, Connections -> Camera).
- In Orchestrate, click on Options -> Watched Folder -> Setup. This will open a
window where you can choose a directory to be monitored for incoming scripts (Folder to watch),
the frequency with which the directory will be checked (Look every (secs); set this to 1 sec),
and a directory where the scripts will be stored after they are executed (Done folder). These
settings will not change between observing runs, so you only need to change them on your first
- Delete any files from previous observing runs which may be present in the directory for
incoming scripts. This is important to prevent old scripts from being executed in the current
- In Orchestrate, click on Options -> Watched Folder -> Watch. This causes
Orchestrate to start monitoring the directory you specified in the previous step for
incoming scripts. The use of the TAO scheduler to
produce Orchestrate scripts to carry out your observations is
discussed in the next sections.
Previous: Instructions for ACP/PinPoint/MaximDL CCD users
Next: Updating target databases
© 1999-2004 Paulo Holvorcem