Watching Rasicam

Observers should use the rasicam animated display on observer1 and/or observer2 by running the script


If the rasicam server is running, this should begin to display images as shown below. Explanations follow the image.

In the top left is a running animation showing the change in the sky over the night. It will skip most frames so that a summary of the entire night can always be seen. The animation will stop and wait on the most recent image. The color scale is shown just right of the image. Black/blue indicate no clouds, purple/red light clouds, yellow heavy clouds. White is saturated. The two nearby domes are blacked out and labeled as are the cardinal points. A green circle indicates the direction the Blanco telescope was pointing at the time the rasicam image was taken. The circle is supposed to change to red if there are clouds (above threshold level) in the Blanco direction.

At the bottom left the current UTC time is shown. Also, as the movie cycles, the UTC time the data was taken is shown up to the most recent image.

The top right graph shows the percentage of the sky that is cloudy (above threshold) in blue. In yellow is the percentage of the Blanco pointing direction that sees clouds.

The mid right graph shows the RMS of the IR power over the entire sky in blue. This should be small when the sky is clear. In yellow the RMS power in the Blanco direction is show.

The bottom right graph show the normalized power (correlates to optical depth) of clouds in the Blanco pointing direction. A small number indicates cloudless skies. A large number indicates Blanco is pointed at a cloud.

As the images cycle a red line will overlay each of the three graphs on the right to indicate the time and variable values of the image being displayed.

Emergency Instructions

The observer may assist telops in the following but telops are well trained for RASICAM.

Rasicam should be opened at sunset and closed before sunrise. Sunlight hitting the system should cause no damage but should be avoided. We wish to have rasicam data even if DECam is not operating.

  • If RASICAM fails to close do not panic, the primary mirror is dispersive and the sun will not damage the system. A telops expert can close the RASICAM lid with a manual controller after more urgent needs have been met (power failures etc)

If RASICAM cannot be started via (telopps does this) then:
1) a connection may be made to via VNC to check labview
2) If VNC fails, an ssh tunnel for vnc can be made by ssh -C -t -L 5904:localhost:5900 plewis@rasicam and connect to a vnc server on local port 5904
3) If the rasicam pc cannot be reached then a reboot of the computer is likely in order. The rasicam PC is located in the "closet" of the 0.9 m telescope control room. (First door on the left when you enter from the south). When looking from rasicam it is the closest building and in the closest corner.
4) Upon reboot, the pc should automatically log itself in and start labview. If labview does not start, there is an icon on the desktop called "RASICAM CONTROLLER.lvproj. This will start project explorer and RASICAM under Labview VI's should be started. At this point, should respond.
5) If the restarted PC cannot connect to the rasicam system outside then an expert will need to be consulted. This may include closing RASICAM with the handheld manual controller.

If there are problems email Kevin Reil ().

Nightly Movies

RASICAM Nightly Movies on YouTube


(See also docDB #5532)

Rasicam Maintenance Task List