Tools for Automated Observing
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  System requirements
Getting Started
  Modeling slew times
  Measuring camera
  download times
  Specifying filter
  names and numbers
  Modeling the local
  Creating user profiles
  Initializing target
  Customizing the
Daily Operation
  Starting observatory
  control software
  Instructions for
  MaximDL users
  Instructions for
  Orchestrate users
  Updating target
  Generating a list of
  potential targets
  Preparing a list of
  observation requests
  Running the
  Starting scheduled
Image Acquisition with
the MU Script
  Customizing the
  Starting MU
  Sequence of events
  during an observing
  run using MU
Timing Refinement
  Collecting timing
  Analyzing timing
  Adjusting the
  empirical timing
Other Tools
  Slew time
  measurement script
  Minor Planet Checker
  query script
  Regression program
  Software updates
  License agreement
  Contact the author
Daily Operation

Step 1: Starting the observatory control software (continued)

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 and enabled.

To start the observing run, follow these steps:

  • Start TheSky and CCDSoft, and establish connections to the telescope and camera.

  • 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 observing run.

  • 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 observing run.

  • 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