The following notes assume all 3 ATNF telescopes (Parkes, ATCA, Mopra) are being monitored. Ignore the parts of the notes which refer to telescopes not being used for the current experiment. These notes also do not explain how to setup an experiment - refer to the telescope specific notes elsewhere in this wiki.
You must be appropriately qualified for remote observing with Parkes and ATCA, even if observing from the SOC. Refer to the specific observing documentation beforehand, or discuss with CASS staff.
Please ensure you know the answer to ALL of the questions on this quiz page. If you cannot answer them, then please re-watch the videocasts and re-read this documentation.
If you feel the documentation is not clear about any of this, then please send feedback to Chris.
Run the following standard telescope monitoring pages:
Make sure you register as as OIC at Parkes and ATCA and you “book” the observing beforehand
Run the following VLBI specific monitors
recmon must be run on a machine with working sound turned on. Test this “Alarm Test” button.
Make sure all appropriate telescopes/recorders are enabled (or disabled).
Connect your local VNC client to the following VNC sessions. Refer to these notes for notes on setting up ssh tunneling if observing remotely. If you do not know the current VNC password, refer to these notes
|ATCA||xbones:1||ATCA antenna control|
|ATCA||caccc1:1||CABB control and monitoring|
|Mopra||bigrock:1||Antenna and VLBI control|
Some general notes on trouble shooting issues. There are ATNF specific, but not antenna specific (see notes above for antenna specific issues).
Check the following every ~10min on lba_monitor and recmon web monitors.
Note that when ATCA or Mopra are hardware wind stowed, they may report to be “idle” or “drive error”. Look at the wind monitor to decide if that is what has happened.
Because of the elevation limit, Parkes often misses out some sources. It will then just go to the next source it can reach. If the ATCA/Mopra elevation is < 30deg, this is most likely what has happened. You can verify this if you want by looking at the experiment “.sum” file in the ftp area. ASKAP has a similar issues because sources rise at ASKAP much later than on the East coast.
Check the following in the specific telescope VNC windows
The PI should have scheduled automatic phasecal commands within the schedule. If not you should run “corr pcal” in caobs if the phases drift too far apart, or consider dropping antenna from the tie array output if the phase stability is too poor on the longer baselines.
Each telescope has different windstow/storm stow behaviour
The system will reliably detect high wind and lightening activity and stow the antenna. It will automatically recover one the wind/lightning has reduced to an acceptable level.
ATCA has two levels of windstow - software and hardware (PMON), For a software windstow, the observer will have to manually restart the observation in caobs (
start). Wait 10-15 minutes after the wind has died to a reasonable level. For a PMON windstow, the system will be locked out for 15 minutes. You will also need to manually restart in caobs once the telescope is released from windstow. During a PMON wind stow, trying to drive the antennas will result in a “DRIVE ERROR” in atdrivemon. If all antennas report drive error at the same time, it is more than likely a PMON wind stow.
Storm stows are done in software, and while the lightning indicator is “STORM STOW” caobs will not allow you to start observing, and will send the antennas to their stow position. There will be no indication in caobs when a storm stow has been released, so you will need to look in MoniCA to determine when you can begin observing again.
Parkes weather stow is controlled by TPS. If high wind or lightning activity is detected, TPS will stow the antenna and not release for 15 min. Often observing will resume automatically. In gusty high wind it is generally best to stop atsnap (
^C; atsnap stow) and wait till the wind has calmed down. Resume with
atsnap unstow, waitm then
atsnap <exper>.psn (or up arrow twice). In some circumstance TPS will stow the antenna. In which case it will need to be unstowed manually before resuming.