GPS Monitor Procedures

Daily Operations (by DES Observer)


- if the Tribmle NetR9 window (with skyplot) is gone, relaunch it by entering in a browser:
user=admin key=PWVmon

- Before sundown, make sure it's alive by clicking the 'Tracking(skyplot)' button under the Satellites tab. The skyplot will disappear if the ethernet connection to the receiver is lost, but it will remain (without updating) if the power is lost. Hence it's best to manually update the plot to be sure. The skyplot automatically updates about once per minute, but it will take several minutes before you notice the satellites moving.

- After a day-time storm it would be useful to check the top surface of the antenna (see below) and wipe off snow or water. In this case you will need one of the local techs to access the roof of the 1.5m, so please get their attention before they leave.


- 10 minutes after 00:00 UTC (not local time), check that a new GPS file has been created from by

   * click DATA LOGGING button to the left
   * click /Internal

The first file on the list should have today's date. The file size will read zero for a long time, so don't worry. If there is no file with today's date, contact R.Kessler IMMEDIATELY at and 773-517-1983. Suggestion: add this task as an alarm to your iCal.

- 15 minutes after midnight local time (not UTC) check that a new CTIO weather file has been created at and scroll to the bottom to check that the previous day's file is there. If it is NOT there, send email to "David Walker" <> and Rick Kesseler () IMMEDIATELY! If the weather file does not appear within a few hours we will lose the GPS processing at Suominet for this night. Waiting until morning is too late! Suggestion: add this task as an alarm to your iCal.

- The receiver is programmed to collect data every night starting at 00:00 UTC, and to run continuously. There is no need to re-program the unit, even after recovering from loss of power. One day of data uses about 3 MB of disk space, and the receiver has an on-board 4 GB hard drive; thus it can buffer the data for a thousand days ! The data are automatically ftp'ed to Fermilab each day.

Periodic Operations (Not by DES Observer)


- On occasion the top surface of the antenna should be wiped clean with a damp rag because dirt build-up may degrade the performance. If you use a paper towel (i.e, from a bathroom), please make sure not to leave small torn pieces on the antenna surface. If there is evidence of animal visits (bird droppings), try using vinegar so that hopefully the smell will discourage animals.

- While on the roof of the 1.5m, also check that each of the six hose clamps is secured tightly ! Try jiggling each clamp with your hands. If any clamp is loose, ask one of the techs to tighten it (or tighten it yourself).

- GPS equipment location at CTIO:
The antenna is attached to a steel pole and the pole is strapped to the railing on the roof of the 1.5 meter. The antenna is easily visible from the road. The receiver is inside the building, at the 2nd floor. Kessler and Nelson installed all of the GPS equipment at CTIO, so Nelson can help you access the equipment.

- The receiver looks like this.

If the internet access hangs, then somebody needs to first make sure that the ethernet cable is plugged in.
If it is, then power cycle the device using the green button in the upper left.

Basic Data

GPS Receiver info:
login info: user=admin pwd=PWVmon