Up: AiC Report to NOT
The last 6 months have been dominated by NOTCam commissioning work.
Fortunately, during this time, few problems were experienced in other
systems, the exception being hacker intrusions which caused some
inconvenience but no lasting damage.
See accompanying report.
ALFOSC has continued to serve the community as a reliable observing
facility. During the period of 1/3/2001 - 1/9/2001 no technical downtime
related to ALFOSC was recorded. In this period ALFOSC was used
for 35 runs out of a total of 47 regular observing runs.
Some more filter holders have been manufactured on-site, in order to
accommodate large filters in the FASU wheels. IJAF have tested a new set
of 90mm diameter Stromgren filters.
More samples have been added to the UBVRI zero-points and colour terms.
This information is accessible on our WWW pages.
Many updates have been made to the WWW documentation of ALFOSC
spectroscopy. Optimal use of the existing grisms for echelle mode will
be evaluated soon. The necessity of purchasing 2nd-order blocking
filters is being investigated. The internal focus of the instrument
has been checked recently.
A program to obtain standard stars for all grisms will be started.
The standard star information will be incorporated in the WWW-based
ALFOSC S/N estimator. This will allow potential users of ALFOSC in
spectroscopic mode to estimate the required observing time when
applying for time.
Some details of the control-room computer-system setup will be changed
such that quick-look spectroscopic reduction scripts can be run just
after the data have been taken.
MOS target acquisition has been fully mastered, and can be achieved
within a few to 10 minutes. High-quality slits are cut in plastic
masks on our CNC machine in the service building on site.
Initialization of the cutter height of the CNC machine is dificult and
time consuming; this height needs to be set very precisely in order to
get the correct slit width on the masks. This iterative process can
take as long as 4-8 man hours, and we are looking into optimizing this
Nevertheless, MOS mode is fully operational, and has been advertised to
the community as an efficient way to obtain numerous spectra. MOS mode is
open for applications as of Oct 2001.
A remotely-controllable half-wave plate mount is being manufactured at
CUO/IJAF in order to allow spectroscopic calibration without the need
to remove the entire assembly and to make observations involving
repeated re-orientation more efficient.
No change, continues to operate well.
Effectively retired, pending the arrival of the mosaic.
Continues to operate well.
No change pending further commissioning work.
Final lab work is under way in Copenhagen. Delivery date unknown at
I defer to the director's report.
An order has been placed with Marconi for the purchase of two 2kx4k,
15 CCDs with the new anti-fringing technology. Delivery is
expected at the end of this year or the beginning of next. Discussion
has begun with CUO/IJAF concerning construction of a new dewar to
A Swedish undergraduate student, Bjarne Andersson, joined NOT
for two months to work on the project under Graham Cox's supervision.
The purpose of this project was to continue work on the interface card
been developed as part of the proposed array controller upgrade at
CUO. The principle areas undertaken was the writing of VHDL
(V. Hardware Description Language) for the PLD (Programmable Logic
Device) on a prototype test board (also referred to as the dummy
board) and the understanding of the programming of the PCI interface
device (AMCC S5933) on the actual interface board.
Test code was written for the dummy board that made it act like a very
simple array controller. Also after significant effort it was possible to
program and operate the AMCC chip as a target device, and understand how to
program it to act as a bus master, using a purchased driver package. At the
end of the project period some work was still required to finish the PLD
code and to finalize the AMCC operation and board functionality.
See accompanying report for greater detail.
Up: AiC Report to NOT
Tim Abbott, AiC