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This wiki is not maintained! Do not use this when setting up AuScope experiments!

LBA Observations: Setting up observing software

Once the schedule is prepared, you should be able to start up the experiment.

If this is being done from Mt Pleasant, the following VNC sessions need to be started (Katherine used as an example):

vncviewer -shared pcfske:1
vncviewer -shared dbbcke:0
vncviewer -shared timeke:0

If the observation is being monitored from the AuScope control room, use e-remote control can be used as the Field System interface, but generally the VNC sessions are fine.

If it's not already running, start the System Monitor, one for each AuScope telescope. On newsmerd:


If you can't connect to the DBBC VNC server, the DBBC may have died. In which case, follow these notes on Recovering from a DBBC Failure

These next steps should only be necessary if you are starting an observation from scratch. If not, go straight to the starting and monitoring observations section.

If you are following on from a previous observation, then the System Monitor GUI, Field System software, DBBC server, Mark5 software etc should already be running in the VNC sessions. Here are some setup notes from the IVS documentation with some comments where differences exist between IVS and LBA setup. Note that commands that can be sent from eRemoteControl can also be sent from the Field System Operator Input window which is on the pcfske:1 VNC session.

Timing PC Software

Check that the software on the timing PCs is running:

Field System Software

RF and IF signal path

DBBC Configuration

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. Check that the DBBC is healthy and the server software is running:

To configure the DBBC with the correct IF and frequency settings, use the following command


setup01 calls other procedures which set up the DBBC Conditioning module inputs, filters and power levels, and the BBC frequencies. Then if you type:


You will see what the Conditioning module settings are. Output format is:

<time>/<Module label>/<IF input number>,<Auto or Manual gain control>,<Nyquist filter number>,<Target power level>,<attenuation>,<actual power level>

Check there’s agreement with what appears in the procedure files. The actual power level should agree pretty well with the target level. The attenuation number can be anywhere between 0 (none) and 63 (maximum). If you see it at 0 or 63, it means the Conditioning module is having trouble getting the power to the right level. See the Current Issues page for information on how to do this.

Then type:


You will see what the DBBC has set the BBC freqs to (compare with the .prc file). Output looks like this:

<time>/<bbc name>/<Frequency (MHz)>/<Conditioning module in use>,<Bandwidth (MHz)>,...

the Frequency, Conditioning module label and bandwidth should agree with the listing in the procedure file. Note that bread shows all BBC settings but typical LBA observations only use some of them. You just need to make sure that the ones that are specified in the procedure file agree.

Check the maser

Mark5 Recorder setup

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

Clock and delay check

System Temperature (Tsys) check

Antenna checks

Weather checks

... and finally

If all is set up, it's time to start and monitor the observations.

/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/operations/documentation/lba_observing_software_setup.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/14 03:17 by Jim Lovell