Data acquisition

The data acquisition computer was replaced. At the same time the instrument control user interface was replaced by a non-IDL version. The computer upgrade was also combined with the transition to MEF format with new updated FITS header keywords.

Since the introduction of MEF format we have had problems with data files written with zero content. This is because the NOT2MEF program does not allow an image to be written which has a faulty header. The reason for the problem is that telescope information is lacking in the FITS header, likely because image acquisition and storage is faster than it takes to get the info from the TCS.

The problem only happens on rare occasions, but a preliminary back-up solution was made to avoid the loss of valuable data. A simple permanent solution which lets the data acquisition program only start the NOT2MEF program after the telescope information has arrived is being made.

The Quality Control reduction script was modified to accept the MEF format.

There are various issues in the BIAS acquisition program which should be improved, and there is the need of a time-efficient clean-array command for NOTCam to take care of memory effects. We have asked Jens Klougart to look at these issues, and he is coming to La Palma in the second week of April.

Thomas Augusteijn 2006-05-08