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
  Updating target
  Generating a list of
  potential targets
  Preparing a list of
  observation requests
  Requests using
  default options
  Specifying exposure
  Specifying camera
  Specifying frame
  Specifying frame
  Specifying filters
  Specifying the
  number of images
  to take
  Specifying the time
  interval between
  Specifying the
  image insertion
  Specifying the
  minimum altitude
  Specifying the
  maximum |hour
  angle| limit
  Specifying the
  moon avoidance
  Specifying a
  request identifier
  Specifying an
  observing window
  Specifying mosaics
  of CCD fields
    Page 1
    Page 2
  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 4: Preparing a list of observation requests

After generating a list of potential targets for the night when the observations will take place, you need to select the targets you wish to observe from that list, and prepare a text file containing a list of requests for observations of the selected targets. This text file will be processed by the TAO scheduler. The observation requests are composed using a specific syntax, illustrated by the text file TAO\schedule\example.stg, whose contents are reproduced below:

ts259; PRH timeseries 27i int=12 t>030517-19:37 t<030517-20:39

ts259; PRH timeseries 27i int=12 t>030517-19:37 &
  PA=315. width=6. overlap=1.00 dRA=0. ddec=0. &
  0 0 &
  1 0

NGC4698; CGD 1i filter=V exp=60. opt  #00000159

V838 Mon; CGD timeseries asap HA<180  #00000160

C/2002 Y1; PRH high alap HA<210 #0025

1999 TY2; PRH 4i suc asap HA<210 moondist>40 #0026 &
  PA=317. width=6. overlap=1.00 dRA=0. ddec=0. &
  0 0 &
  1 0 &
  -1 0

UGC01839;  alt>35 moondist>28
NGC09263;  alt>35
NGC1144;   alt>31

When a text file such as the above is processed by the scheduler, the various observation requests are processed in the order in which they appear in the file. The scheduler tries to insert the first target into an empty schedule, then tries to insert the second target, then the third, and so forth. The first targets to be processed are inserted into an empty or near-empty schedule, so they are observed under the best possible conditions. As the schedule becomes more and more full, it becomes increasingly difficult to insert new targets, and the targets which are inserted at this stage may not be observed under the best possible conditions due to "competition" with previously scheduled targets. This means that the requests for your highest-priority targets should usually be listed near the top of the text file containing your observation requests. More scheduling tips may be found by clicking here.

The various options and keywords which can be used to build observation requests are described in the next sections.

Simple requests using default options

The simplest kind of observing request consists of the target name followed by a semicolon:


This would be interpreted as a request for observations of NGC4698, made by the default user. The observations would be carried out using the default options specified in the default user's profile.

If a 3-character user ID is specified after the semicolon,

NGC4698; CGD

the observations are understood to have been requested by the specified user; the observations would be carried out using the default options specified in the user's profile.

Note: When you add fixed targets to the database using program addFixedTargets, a scheduler input file will be automatically generated. This file contains simple observation requests for each of the targets which have been added.

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Next: Specifying exposure time, camera resolution, frame size, frame mode

© 1999-2004 Paulo Holvorcem