A standardised input file format has been adopted that applies to all types of single-dish observing with the 26-m telescope.
To achieve this we use keywords followed by parameters, in a format analogous to that of the header in FITS format files. Some of the keywords and parameters entered in this way end up unchanged in the data files output by the observing program. As an example, an input or source file for doing continuum radiometry by drift and active scans might look like this ( with the `//' designating that the rest of the line is a comment.):
SETUP // start setup of common parameters OBSERVER= M.J. GAYLARD // observer's name PROJECT = Continuum tests PROPOSAL= 1999.001 CATALOG = calibrators.cat // info on source positions as stored // in a catalog SCANTYPE= DRIFT // or STEP or SCAN or ... CONF = 18NA // define a receiver configuration RESTFREQ= 1650.0E6 // centre frequency in Hz, defines receiver INSTRUME= NA // connect to noise-adding radiometers ENDCONF // end definition of receiver configuration DEFCONF = 18NA // default inclusion of conf block ENDSETUP // end common parameters setup OBJECT = HYDRA A // object for first scan, a calibrator SCANLENG= 1.5 // length of drift scan, in degrees OUTFILE = hydra_1650 // output file name OBJECT = TAU A // object for second scan COORDTYP= EQUATORIAL // optional EQUINOX = 1950.0 // mandatory for equatorial coords RA = 93.231 // decimal degrees alternative to hms DEC = 20.413 // decimal degrees alternative to d'" SCANLENG= 1.7 // length of drift scan, in degrees OUTFILE = tau_1650 OBJECT = Sgr A latitude scan // object for third scan COORDTYP= GALACTIC // not strictly needed - GLON, GLAT unique PROJTYPE= NONE // #JJ# trivial projection GLON = 0 // "origin" or "special point" of scan GLAT = 0 // "origin" or "special point" of scan SCANTYPE= SCAN // active scan in galactic coordinates STARTX = 0 // scan start offset in longitude STARTY = -5 // scan start offset in latitude STOPX = 0 // scan end offset in longitude STOPY = +5 // scan end offset in latitude SCANTIME= 100 // scan rates in longitude, latitude OUTFILE = sgra_1650
Note that the "=" copied from the FITS style is not essential. The input files have been made more "free format", for example the start of the above file could be written as:
setup // start setup of common parameters observer M.J. Gaylard // observer's name project Continuum tests proposal 1999.001 catalog calibrators.cat scantype Drift // or STEP or SCAN or ... conf 18NA restfreq 1650.0E6 // centre frequency in Hz, defines receiver instrume na // connect to noise-adding radiometers endconf endsetup // end common parameters setup
where spaces could also be ascii "tab" characters, and upper and lower case characters are used interchangeably, except in the observer's name.
Unambiguous abbreviations for key words may be used.
What are the advantages of this type of input file? It is:
All that changes for specific types of observation are the relevant keywords needed to define it correctly.
The objective of this document is to specify all the keywords and their associated parameter types that are needed for single-dish observing using the NCCS.
For other approaches to this see:
For the GBT this was the specification:
Observer Monitor and Control Requirements for the GBT, from http://www.gb.nrao.edu/GBT/memos/memo81.txt
which was implemented in this way for input files:
GBT observing tables (= input or command files), at http://www.gb.nrao.edu/ rfisher/Glish/shorthand.html
Writing GBT observing procedures in Glish, at http://www.gb.nrao.edu/ rfisher/Glish/glish_procs.html
Advanced GBT procedure writing in Glish, at http://www.gb.nrao.edu/ rfisher/Glish/gbt_procedures.html
HET scheduler local copy from http://rhea.as.utexas.edu/HET_documentation/phase2.ps