Recent Changes - Search:

HomePage

LBA

Mt Pleasant 26m

Ceduna 30m

Mt Pleasant 14m

Ceduna-Hobart Interferometer

Schedules

AuScope

PmWiki

edit SideBar

LBA Observing

Setting up for LBA observations:

Preparing schedule files

Instructions on preparing LBA schedules for use at Hobart and Ceduna is contained here.

Hobart Setup Checklist:

Hobart is usually run through a VNC server on newsmerd (newsmerd:1). If this isn’t up and running, setup and login instructions can be found on this page.

  1. Check the local wiki page for info on which receiver you need, oscillator settings, DAS profile settings etc. Cross-check these values against the ATNF LBA wiki. For details on calculating oscillator settings see here. UPDATE (Sept 2015) - These are probably written into the proc file already, but check!
  2. Is the correct receiver on axis? Check the Rx number and focus platform position in rack 2 against the info here. If you need to change receivers, see here.
  3. Is the quadrature hybrid OUT (except for L-band where quad is IN), and is the receiver in “Direct” mode? Instructions on checking this are here .
  4. Check the Agilent is set to the correct frequency and set it if not. Instructions are here.
  5. Check that the second LOs (currently SML01 and SML02) are set to the correct frequency & set to EXTERNAL reference. Details here.
  6. Is the DAS profile correct? Instructions on how to check & load DAS profiles is here.
  7. Use the remote controlled backend (“Palfreyman’s Delight”) to check the polarisation selection & adjust the attenuation to centre the DAS levels. The polarisation selection should be set to match the configuration given on the local wiki page (e.g. RCP/LCP → RCP for channel 1, LCP for channel 2). Adjust the attenuation in the “DAS Attenuation” section of the folly display to centre the DAS IF levels (See here if you’re unsure of what this is doing). Startup and operating instructions for the configurable backend are given here.
  8. Check coherence. For this, the signal from SMY01 needs to go into either the tone port or the vertex radiator (if the latter, make sure that the labelled switch in rack 2 is on!). Set the SMY01 frequency to the suggested coherence tone, and check the spectrum analyser for coherence. The amplitude of the signal may need to be increased. (Settings may be done manually or through the oscillator control software. NB: The tone port is the second socket from the left at the very top of rack 3. The vertex radiator is the second socket from the right at the top of rack 5. Make sure the tone is turned off after confirming system coherence!
  9. Adjust programmable attenuators (switches at the top of rack 2 with green LEDS) to set the Square Law Detector (a.k.a SLD, power meter) reading to −4 dBm in both channels. The SLD is in rack 3, underneath the rotary attenuator dials. The metal switch under the meter (labelled with L and R) controls which channel is monitored.
  10. Start the field system (FS) if it’s not running. From a terminal in the newsmerd VNC session, login to oper@hobart and type fs.
  11. Load the experiment procedure file with proc=[expnameho] (e.g. proc=vc149ho) in the FS input command line in the oprin window. Test that the command systemp returns an SEFD estimate that is near to the nominal values in this list. At Hobart, you may need to run calu -m sam26m as observer@newsmerd. This allows the cal to be controlled by the sampler (which is monitoring the square-law detector).
  12. If all is well, start the schedule with the schedule=[expnameho],#1 (e.g. schedule=vc149ho,#1) command to send the telescope to the first source.
  13. Check if the BG3 is in place and if it should be. Instructions on changing to/from the BG3 cable are here.
  14. Start cdisko2.pl on newsmerd. Details on the new interface are here.
  15. Check that there is enough disk space for the experiment. If you need to remove filled Xraid disks, instructions are here.
  16. Set up the experiment in cDisko2.pl with the correct experiment name, disk selection, bandwidth and channel selection. Standard configurations are listed here. For fringe checks, start the recording manually. For real experiments, scheduled start is recommended.
  17. When the recorder is running, check that the bit statistics are correct, that BIGBUF is near to 100% and that the PPS is OK. (See Hobart monitoring checklist below.)
  18. Check pmSTALM is running and if it isn’t, start it in a newsmerd terminal window. (pmSTALM is the script that manages the station alarms. Details here)
  19. Record experiment details to the appropriate ATNF wiki page. (Go here, click the experiment number link, scroll down to “observing comments for each antenna” section and click Ho to update the Hobart log and Cd to update the Ceduna log.) The login username and password can be found here.
  20. Confirm on the local wiki page whether you will need to change the disk you are recording to mid-session or swap any new xraids in. Change the recording disk in cdisko by stopping recording on the first disk when it is full, and restarting recording on the designated empty disk. Instructions for swapping in new xraids are here.

Ceduna Remote Setup Checklist:

Ceduna is run through a VNC server on pcfscd (pcfscd:0)

  1. Check the local wiki page for info on which receiver you need, oscillator settings, DAS profile settings etc. Cross-check these values against the ATNF LBA wiki.
  2. Check the Agilent is set to the correct frequency and set it if not. To do this start oscillator_gui.sh by typing ./oscillator_gui.sh in a pcfscd terminal window. Select the agilent (by entering 1) and then answer the prompts for frequency and level.
  3. Check that the second LOs (SML01 and SML02) are set to the correct frequencies, and set them if not. Again use oscillator_gui.sh to set these.
  4. Is the DAS profile correct? If the DAS software interface is not running somewhere in the pcfscd VNC window, start it with the command das in a pcfscd terminal. Operation is identical to the Hobart DAS (see here). Note that it is not possible to adjust the attenuators remotely at present. But unless the levels are way off to one side everything is probably fine.
  5. Check coherence. Set the coherence tone on SMY02 using oscillator_gui.sh as above and confirm coherence with the dedicated webcam. This is accessed by connecting via VNC to a windows machine hosting a webcam feed. Use vncviewer coherencecd if connecting from newsmerd. Turn the SMY02 tone off when complete by setting the level to off
  6. The field system (FS) should be running. If it isn’t, start it by typing fs in a pcfscd terminal window.
  7. Load the experiment procedure file with proc=[expnamecd] (e.g. proc=vc149cd) in the FS input command line in the “operator input” window. Test that the command systemp returns an SEFD estimate that is near to the nominal values in this list.
  8. If all is well, start the schedule with the schedule=[expnamecd],#1 (e.g. schedule=vc149cd,#1) command to send the telescope to the first source.
  9. Cdisko2 should be running. If it is not, ssh to observer@sille and start it with ./cdisko2 in a terminal window. Details on the new interface are here.
  10. Confirm that there is enough disk space for the experiment. (There should be!)
  11. Set up the experiment in cDisko2.pl with the correct experiment name, disk selection, bandwidth and channel selection. Standard configurations are listed here. For fringe checks, start the recording manually. For real experiments, scheduled start is recommended.
  12. When the recorder is running, check that the bit statistics are correct, that BIGBUF is near to 100% and that the PPS is OK. (See Ceduna monitoring checklist below.)
  13. Check pmSTALM is running and if it isn’t, start it locally in a newsmerd terminal window. (pmSTALM is the script that manages the station alarms. It can be operated from newsmerd for Ceduna too. Details here)
  14. Record experiment details to the appropriate ATNF wiki page. (Go here, click the experiment number link, scroll down to “observing comments for each antenna” section and click Ho to update the Hobart log and Cd to update the Ceduna log.) The login username and password can be found here.
  15. Confirm on the local wiki page whether you will need to change the disk you are recording to mid-session or swap any new xraids in. Change the recording disk in cdisko by stopping recording on the first disk when it is full, and restarting recording on the designated empty disk.

Monitoring LBA Experiments:

These web pages should always be open:
ATNF VLBI monitoring page
ATNF recorder monitoring page
Local Mt Pleasant live page
Local Ceduna live page
An LBA chat window will also be open in Skype. Keep an eye on messages here. The other LBA observers at different stations are a good first port of call for problems at Hobart/Ceduna. Chris Phillips is the main LBA coordinator at the ATNF. Jamie Stevens also knows a lot about the systems here.

Hobart Monitoring Checklist

The desktop on newsmerd (2-screen PC in the middle of the control room) will have the field system (FS) and the recording software (cdisko2) running in a VNC window. It should look something like this:

newsmerd desktop

Check every 2–3 hours:

  1. Is recorder running? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 main window)
  2. Is BIGBUF near to 100%? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 recording status window)
  3. Are the bit sampler levels OK? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 recording status window). These should be around 17, 33, 33, 17 for VSOP modes and 33, 33, 17, 17 for BG3 modes.
  4. Are the numbers for missed PPS OK? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 recording status window). Cannot miss more than 5/100.
  5. Is the telescope on source? (type “onsource” in the oprin window of FS)
  6. Is the weather being logged? (type “wth” in the oprin window of FS)
  7. Is the clock offset being measured? (type “clkoff” in the oprin window of FS)
  8. Is the Tsys sensible? (scroll through the FS log)

Alarms:

We are currently operating all alarms through the pmSTALM script that runs from newsmerd. There will be a terminal window somewhere that looks like this:

pmSTALM screenshot

What to do if an alarm sounds:

  1. Commence panicking.
  2. Cease panicking.
  3. Turn off alarm (ctrl-C in the alarm window).
  4. Attempt to diagnose/solve the problem: Check error log in main pmSTALM terminal. Search for the error code on the wiki. If there’s nothing there ask the LBA chat. If they don’t know what to do (fairly likely) call the on-call person.

N.B. Some schedules do not leave enough time for the telescope to slew before running an automatic onsource check. This causes the station alarms to sound for a few seconds, and will give the following error code: “ERROR qo −301 WARNING: ONSOURCE status is SLEWING!” If this happens keep an eye on the FS status window and/or the live page to check that the drives are actually on and that the telescope does arrive on source eventually. If the drives are off and the telescope has been windstowed make a note of this in the log. If the drives are off with no discernible cause, call the on-call person!

Ceduna Monitoring Checklist

Ceduna is run through a VNC server on pcfscd. The pcfscd VNC session should look something like this:
(As for the Hobart screenshot above, in this example the left hand windows are the field system and the right hand ones are the cdisko2 gui)

ceduna desktop

Check every 2–3 hours:

  1. Is recorder running? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 main window)
  2. Is BIGBUF near to 100%? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 recording status window)
  3. Are the bit sampler levels OK? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 recording status window). These should be around 17, 33, 33, 17 for VSOP modes and 33, 33, 17, 17 for BG3 modes.
  4. Are the numbers for missed PPS OK? (ATNF recorder monitoring page, cdisko2 recording status window). Cannot miss more than 5/100.
  5. Is the telescope on source? (type “onsource” in the operator input window of FS)
  6. Is the weather being logged? (type “wth” in the operator input window of FS)
  7. Is the clock offset being measured? (type “clkoff” in the operator input window of FS)
  8. Is the Tsys sensible? (scroll through the FS log)

Alarms:

As in the case of Hobart, Ceduna alarms are dealt with by an instance of the pmSTALM script running from newsmerd (see Hobart example screenshot above). The alarms will be relayed through the Mt Pleasant station alarm.

What to do if an alarm sounds:

  1. Commence panicking.
  2. Cease panicking.
  3. Turn off alarm (ctrl-C in the alarm window).
  4. Attempt to diagnose/solve the problem: Check error log in main pmSTALM terminal. Search for the error code on the wiki. If there’s nothing there ask the LBA chat. If they don’t know what to do (fairly likely) call the on-call person.

What to do if the Ceduna network falls over

Sometimes the Ceduna VNC window will freeze and pings will stop getting through to sille (a computer at Ceduna). Usually this will right itself after about a minute or so. If it does not, try these steps to revive the network.

If you lose the Ceduna VNC window, restart in a newsmerd terminal window with the following command: vncviewer pcfscd
The password can be found here.

Rebooting Ceduna drive PC

If you’re getting “Error: Cannot get monitor info from antenna (8020002)” or the like, you’ll need to reboot the drive pc (sys30m).

In a terminal run ‘telnet lerips’, the password is the usual admin.

Then ‘/Boot 1′, follow by ‘y’ when prompted. Sys30m will take several minutes to come back.

After sys30m starts responding (eg. to ‘ping’) enter ‘source=disable’ in the operator input. If this doesn’t work try reopening the field system.

Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on October 21, 2016, at 03:24 AM