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Old Aug 2 2008, 01:49 AM   #86
Master Sneak
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
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Default Re: The VISTA Telescope Thread (VTT)

Hi folks. It's 2am and I'm about to go to bed. Sorry I haven't checked in for a while. I've been through an intensive work period (as if working 12-15 hours a day wasn't enough). For the past 2 days I have been one half of the team. Three of the others left the day I got back from my descanso, but two have returned now, so things here are back to more or less normal, i.e. instead of .

There's not a lot different to report - just several days of intensive debugging. We have had a few nights of poor seeing conditions which revealed some bugs in the image processing software. It doesn't work well in poor conditions. So I'm working on that at the moment.

I can report one victory so far. The telescope control system has a list of stars which can be selected and used to make calibration observations. The stars are randomly selected and scattered all over the sky. I discovered the selection procedure had passed over Rukbat, so I've inserted Rukbat into the list. This means every now and then VISTA might be pointed to Rukbat to make a calibration observation.

If anyone is curious, this is what my workstation in the VISTA control room looks like:

The workstation on the left shows the images coming live from the telescope. The middle screen has my control panels, and on the right you can see the active optics software display. The workstations over on the far right hand side are for telescope control. At the moment VISTA needs at least two people to operate it - one on the camera workstation (normally me) and another on the telescope workstation. When the telescope is fully commissioned it should operate almost automatically (i.e. with a single operator staring at a screen monitoring the status).

Goodnight everyone.
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