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Dynamic Observing


The Dynamic Observing project is a demonstration of automated geodetic observations. The observing schedule is generated at regular intervals and stations may join or leave at any time. Whenever station availability changes, the schedule is adjusted and re-optimised. In this scenario, the stations remain in control and no remote operation is done. Stations provide status information to a central server and they can automatically retrieve and process schedule files and run them.

Some background information on Dynamic Observing is available here:

  1. "Prototyping automation and dynamic observing with the AuScope array" by Lovell, Plank, McCallum, Shabala & Mayer. Presented at the IVS General Meeting, South Africa, March 2016
  2. "Dynamic Observing in the VGOS Era" by Lovell, McCallum, Shabala, Plank, Bohm, Mayer & Sun, IVS 2014 General Meeting Proceedings (PDF).

PC Field System software

The stations require some additional software to allow them to manage schedule files and provide status information to the schedule server. A program called mondump sends monitoring information and a few scripts are also required to manage the observations. Also a default schedule and procedure file must be installed. Installation and configuration notes are given below.


The scheduler is a modified version of vie_sched (Sun et al JoG 2014). It is running continuously on a local server at UTAS (ares1-mp), each minute looking for available antennas. If the number of available antennas is more than one, a schedule is created. The schedules are then uploaded to the server for distribution. Each time a new schedule file (skd) is created, a new line is added at the schedule status website.

The usual update interval is 15 minutes.

If the scheduling is not working, i.e. the is no new schedule despite more than 1 antenna are set on available (here to check), you might need to restart the scheduler.

Running the observations

/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/development/dynamicobserving.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/29 04:06 by Jim Lovell