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Visualisation tool assists remote commissioning

CSIRO's Keith Bannister
monitoring ASKAP remotely
from Sydney, using akspd
.


14 April 2014

A visualisation tool developed by the ASKAP Computing team has provided essential support to the recent commissioning successes with ASKAP's Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA).

The remote observing and commissioning activities that recently produced ASKAP's first spectral line 'data cube' was assisted by a visualisation tool known as 'akspd' based on the spd program (developed by Warwick Wilson) widely used at other ATNF observatories.

The ASKAP Computing group developed akspd so that the Commissioning team can view BETA visibilities in real time, and carefully monitor and control the ASKAP antennas and their associated systems.

The key advantage of this visualisation tool is that the commissioning team is able to run MRO commissioning activities remotely whether members of staff are on site at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia or working from Science Operations Centre at the CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science headquarters in Sydney.

For the team, it is extremely encouraging to be able to examine data products in real time coming from the ASKAP antennas. In the picture to the right, the display shows data coming through from the BETA hardware correlator across all 15 baselines.

The akspd program will continue to be an extremely useful tool for debugging the BETA system and further commissioning activities with the ASKAP antennas.


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