Below are the links to a step-by-step procedure for making IVS observations on the 12m and 26mtelescopes. The current version of e-RemoteCtrl has a built-in checklist which can now be used during the setup procedure. So the first task is to start the Observing and monitoring software at each site, then e-RemoteCtrl.
These are notes on IVS observations from ops8, the six-monitor PC in the AuScope VLBI Operations room in Hobart.
If you are unfamiliar with the computers and software used at the sites and in the control room, please read this before continuing:
* Note - this script will now ask if there is a SAR satellite pass to be observed during the experiment (or immediately afterwards). Please check the Google calendar before answering! If there is a track, then the stations SNP file will be automatically edited to accommodate the scan & you will be given a list of shortened or skipped scans - record these in the handover notes!
schedules <experiment name> <st1> <st2> ... <st4>
schedules $(nobs -p)
after checking that this will produce the correct result by typing
into the terminal. Note that this will assume that there are no SAR tracks during the schedule to be drudged.
Check that the software on the timing PCs is running:
into a terminal (and manually closing any stragglers). Then enter
windows hb ke yg
feel free to omit any telescopes not in use.
to open browser windows to the VLBI webcams, Autocorrelation spectra, and Auscope Handover page.
Next the Mark5 recorder needs to be prepared for the observations.
exper_initi. e.g for R1556 at Hobart:
The checklist should now be visible. The items in the list are described below and can be ticked off as you go
You can use it for setting up procedures and starting schedules as well. For more information (e.g. how to change the stations, type 'help' into the moprin terminal.
The RF and IF signal paths, and DBBC are now configured through the Field System.
The Digital Base-Band Converter (DBBC) takes the IF signals from the telescope and digitises them for the Mark5 recorder. The DBBC needs to be properly configured prior to an observation. Check that the DBBC is healthy and the server software is running:
To configure the DBBC with the correct IF and frequency settings, use the following command
This could be
setup8f for the 512 R1, or
setup01 for Hart schedules 'crds—', some 'aua—'
ifdsx which sets up the DBBC Conditioning module inputs, filters and power levels, then
dbbcsx4 for a 4 MHz DBBC mode) which sets the BBC frequencies. Then if you type:
You will see what the Conditioning module settings are. Output format is:
<time>/<Module label>/<IF input number>,<Auto or Manual gain control>,<Nyquist filter number>,<Target power level>,<attenuation>,<actual power level>
Check there’s agreement with what appears in ifdsx, as well as the values listed here. The actual power level should agree pretty well with the target level. The attenuation number can be anywhere between 0 (none) and 63 (maximum). If you see it at 0 or 63, it means the Conditioning module is having trouble getting the power to the right level. See the Current Issues page for information on how to do this.
You will see what the DBBC has set the BBC freqs to (compare with the .prc file). Output looks like this:
<time>/<bbc name>/<Frequency (MHz)>/<Conditioning module in use>,<Bandwidth (MHz)>,...
the Frequency, Conditioning module label and bandwidth should agree with the listing in
Check that a suitable module is in the Mark 5 recorder.
If there is no specific module allocated to the experiment, the relevant column on the spreadsheet will be left blank.
Lastly, after submitting the checklist form, send a ready message to IVS:
At the end of an observation:
New content! Please add! Here is an ever growing list of common errors and alarms that you may come across whilst observing. Some are diagnostics and others are plain alarms. If you come across more while observing please add them to this page and note the data and time of the occurrence and your fix. Or, if you couldn't resolve it leave it blank so observers know that it is a problem that was encountered and this would be a good time to call an on-call person List of alarms and fixes.
1. Before you drudg, start the correct fs-mk5hb (fs-auscope?) for IVS which runs a script to select the correct backend (mk5 and DBBC). Drudg schedule for the experiment (if it has not been done already). Drudg the schedule using
slogit.auscope.sh on ops-serv2 as for the other stations. Having the backend selected correctly will result in the correct proc file being generated.
From ops8, confirm that the sum file has been copied across to
/vlbobs/ivs/sched/. Otherwise, ssh into hobart (
ssh oper@hobart) and copy the .sum file with the command
scp /tmp/sched.tmp observer@ops-serv2:/vlbobs/ivs/sched/aug019ho.sum
If the .sum file was not written:
a) before the experiment started: drudge the schedule manually. On Hobart, go to the sched directory and type
drudg r4705.skd. Then type
Ho for station Hobart and then
3 to create the prc file and
5 to write the sum file. The sum file is written in the ./tmp directory as sched.tmp.
b) after the experiment has started: in order not to overwrite the prc file, copy the schedule file to the tmp directory and drudg it there.
2. Check to see if Jim P (or anyone else!) is observing.
CHECK THE CALENDAR!
Go to the 26m Live Page for the 26m and see if the telescope is tracking. Jim P puts a sticky note on the screen 4 of the
newsmerd:1 VNC session where the Field System is saying he is observing also.
Please wait until the other person's experiment has finished until you set up.
If it is urgent, please see the notes on his instructions page on how to cancel the Vela observations:
Step 1. Open a VNC viewer to newsmerd
The password is the usual one. (hobart26 FS runs on computer named hobart). If this is not accessible ssh to observer@newsmerd then restart the vnc with
vncserver :1 -shared &
Step 2. Check that the field system is running on newsmerd. Usually, the Geodesy window will be Desktop 4. If it is not running, please start it with
fs-mk5hb to ensure that the geodetic backend is selected.
Step 3. Check receiver position
Check the receiver position with the command
rxp. It should be -256, +248, +18 (x,y,z).
Be sure the telescope is stowed BEFORE changing the reciever
To change it go to Desktop 3, bottom right window and enter '1' (OTTER interface). If the OTTER interface isn't open, then open a new terminal and type
./OTTER_interface.sh. Changing the receiver takes a couple of minutes (check on the live page http://ra-state.phys.utas.edu.au/ until the antenna stops moving - 5 sec update rate).
Check that the receiver is actually moving, and wait until it reaches position before moving the telescope (can take a few minutes if moving from L-Band).
If the receiver is stuck, first try a reset in the OTTER interface on the newsmerd vnc desktop 3 (type
r and hit enter).
Sometimes the OTTER interface crashes/fails to communicate with the reciever. If the GUI fails to start or returns error messages, please check that it is running (with ps -ef | grep OTTER as observer@rx26m). You can restart the server with sudo /etc/init.d/OTTER restart if there are any problems. The server is being continuous polled by MoniCA with the data being logged in the hobart database. More information on the OTTER server can be found hereOTTER
Step 4. Check the procedure file The procedure file will be in
/usr2/proc and called
<experiment name>ho.prc. It should not need editing, and should be similar to recent .prc files using the same mode\
Step 5. Mark 5 setup:
The 26m now uses uses
oper@mk5hb) for recording.
Log in to oper@mk5hb and confirm that DIMino is running.
ps auxww | grep -i DIM
If DIMino is running, it will return an output like this:
root 10832 5.2 0.5 40564 12984 ? Rl May08 2666:16 DIMino -m0 oper 32071 0.0 0.0 2852 544 pts/2 D+ 04:14 0:00 grep -i DIM
If the first line in this output does not appear, DIMino is not running. Run it with
DIMino -m0 &
Check the VSN of the module using
Check if there is any data on the module by using the command DirList. If there is (and there is supposed to be data on there), note the end pointer (as in how much data has been recorded so far on that module) in the Handover Notes
NOTE: If there is no free space on a module in the Mark 5, call your on-call person for assistance in changing modules.
Step 6. Start eRemoteCtrl.
It is availalbe from the drop down menus as it is for the 12m telescopes.
Step 7. Start the Log Monitor as for the 12m telescopes (from the drop down menu). Start a new log file and begin recording to it.
Step 8. Load the experiment procedure file (if you haven't already)
note the 'ho' on the end for Hobart 26m.
Step 9. Run the setup of the experiment using
setupsxbut look in the experiment procedure library printout to find the correct setup procedure name. Watch for warnings.
observer@newsmerd: calu -m pcfs -r rakbus
caltsysworks. Caltsys should return results between 50 and 70K
clkoff. Note that the readings are collected from pcfshb at this stage. If clkoff returns an error, or fixed readings, check that the FS on pcfshb is ruuning & restart it if necessary.
disk_posto check the disk module is empty. Result should be 0/0 otherwise the disk module contains data.
Lastly, send the start message.
Once the schedule starts, watch the log and everything closely for the first scan or so.
Sometimes the drives need to be manually re-started. Documentation on how to do this can be found here.
stream_log hoto create a local file for the log monitor.
$experis the experiment name) - to launch the start or end checklists, please use
checklistHo $exper startor
checklistHo $exper stoprepectively.
Send the end message
Park the dish with
in the Field System
Gmail accounts have been set up for registration with skype and other services. The usual Observer password applies.