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Operator Documentation


Observations on the 12m telescopes from the Control Room

These are notes on IVS observations from ops4, the four-monitor PC in the AuScope VLBI Operations room in Hobart.

The main control interface during an observation is eControl, which communicates with the PC Field System (PCFS) machines at the observatories. All the computers at the observatories have manes ending with their two-letter telescope ID:

  • Hb = Hobart 12m
  • Ke = Katherine
  • Yg = Yarragadee

There are four computers at each site that run the most important items of hardware or software. They are:

Type Function Computer Name Access with…
Hobart Katherine Yarragadee
PC Field System Linux PC that runs Field System software to control the antenna, DBBC and Mark5 pcfshb pcfske pcfsyg ssh, VNC (display 1)
Mark5 recorder A Linux PC inside the Mark5 recorder which runs dimino, a program the PCFS communicates with to control data recording mk5hb mk5ke mk5yg ssh
Timing PC Windows PC that monitors the H maser, the CNS-II GPS clock, shows the wind speed and direction, and runs HMI: a GUI for controlling and monitoring the antenna timehb timeke timeyg VNC display 0
DBBC A Windows PC in the DBBC which runs a server (and optionally a client) program to allow control and monitoring of the DBBC dbbchb dbbcke dbbcyg VNC display 0

Each of the above can be accessed either through a terminal via ssh or by starting up a VNC session. It is necessary to bring up the VNC sessions when setting up for an observation or when doing one of the regular ~2 hourly system checks. Given the slow network connection to Yarragadee it is not recommended to keep the VNC sessions up at other times.

VNC or terminal sessions can be started via the Application menu on ops4 in the top left of the desktop:

Applications -> AuScope Yarragadee -> VNC -> [choose the server]

VNC sessions can also be started up on the command line. e.g:

vncviewer -shared pcfshb:1
vncviewer -shared dbbcke:0

IVS Observations

Below is a step-by-step procedure for making IVS observations on the 12m telescopes.

Before the Observations

If it has not already been done, it may be necessary to prepare the schedule and procedure files. This is usually done well in advance, but here are the instructions:

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:

Next the Mark5 recorder needs to be prepared for the observations.

Lastly, check that the software on the timing PCs is running

Starting and Monitoring

After the Observations

eVLBI observations

Fringe Checking

User accounts and email addresses

Gmail accounts have been set up for registration with skype and other services. The usual Observer password applies.



Skype: keobserver



skype: ygobserver

Hobart 12m


skype: hbobserver

/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/operations/documentation.txt · Last modified: 2012/08/13 04:21 by Jamie McCallum