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
  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
Getting started

Step 1: Installation

TAO is distributed in a zip file about 2 MB in size. To install TAO, just unzip the distribution zip file to some directory on your hard drive. For example, if you choose to unzip it to the root of the C: drive, you will obtain a directory C:\TAO containing the following subdirectories:
  • ACP_scripts: this directory contains the MU image acquisition script and a script which automates the measurement of telescope slew times, in separate subdirectories. These scripts may be executed under the ACP observatory control program.

  • docs: this directory contains the TAO documentation.

  • obs: users of the MU script may use this directory to store target lists to be executed, log files, and calibration files (dark frames, bias frames, flat fields).

  • orchestrate_scripts: Users of Orchestrate may use this directory to store Orchestrate scripts generated by the TAO scheduler.

  • regress: this directory contains program regress, which may be used for linear regression analyses of such data as telescope slew time vs. angular displacement, focuser position vs. temperature, etc.

  • schedule: this directory contains program schedule and associated files.

  • targets: this directory is used to store TAO's target databases, and contains the programs and scripts which are used to create and update it.

  • users: users of the MU script may use this directory to store CCD images (in separate subdirectories for each user).
Note: In this documentation we will refer to the above subdirectories by their paths relative to the directory to which you have unzipped the TAO distribution zip file. For example, if you chose to unzip the distribution file to C:, then a reference to directory TAO\ should be interpreted as C:\TAO\, a reference to directory TAO\schedule\ should be interpreted as C:\TAO\schedule\, and so forth.

Installing Windows Script 5.6

In order to run the scripts included with TAO, you will need to have Windows Script 5.6 (or later) installed on your computer. You may verify if Windows Script 5.6 (or a later version) is already installed on your computer by opening a DOS window (also called a Command Prompt in the newer versions of Windows) and typing


If you see a copyright message like

Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
CopyRight (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

followed by usage information, then Windows Script 5.6 is already installed and you can proceed to the installation of the software components for automated data download (see below). Otherwise, go to the Microsoft downloads page, select Windows Script in the "Product/Technology" box, type 5.6 in the "Keywords" box, and click on the "Go" button. Select the appropriate version of Windows Script 5.6 for your operating system, and follow the instructions provided on the web site for downloading and installing Windows Script.

Installing software components for automated data download

TAO's scripts perform automated data downloads, including ephemerides, lists of unusual minor planets, etc. This requires that you install the following software components:

  1. Download msvbvm50.exe and double click on this file in Windows Explorer to install a set of Visual Basic 5 runtime files.

  2. Download mswinsck.cab, which contains the Microsoft Winsock Control 6.0. Open mswinsck.cab with WinZip or a similar program, and extract its contents to an empty directory. Use Windows Explorer to locate file mswinsck.inf in this directory, right-click on it, and select Install. If you get a window saying that you need to use a CD-ROM to install the file, just choose to proceed, specify the directory to which the contents of mswinsck.cab were unzipped (this directory will probably be already specified in the appropriate text box), and finish the installation.

  3. Download post.zip and unzip it to an empty directory. Use Windows Explorer to locate file post.exe in this directory, double-click on it, and click Ok on the dialog window which will pop up.

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© 1999-2004 Paulo Holvorcem