Rasicam Maintenance Task List

The rasicam desktop. 13 main icons are identified. The two programs run each night are centered and marked with *'s.

Run nightly are
  1. the main rasicam labview VI (G:\PRECAM Version\LabVIEW VI's\RASICAM
  2. a background python application started by RUN.bat on the desktop (starts cygwin bash shell and runs bash --login /home/plewis/bin/

Turning on the FLIR camera and using the FLIR camera player

The FLIR camera player can be powered on and used independently of rasicam. To do so open the labview VI called "Manual DAQ Controller" which is shortcut number 3 on the desktop at top of page.

Rasicam focus (fix defocus)

Occasionally, rasicam will become defocussed. When this occurs, the secondary mirror and three support spiders become blurry and will "spill out" from behind their masks. Examples of what this looks like are are shown in the following YouTube videos.

The solution is to use the "FLIR Camera Player" and click the "auto focus button". This can be done day or night and with the dome open or closed.

20160529 images of "FLIR Camera Player" when camera was defocused, autofocus button was clicked, secondary came into focus, done.
Note that these two photos were taken on a rainy night when rasicam was approximately in thermal equilibrium. Much better contrast will be seen on future attempts (replace or add to the above images.

New flat field

If the previous night was clear (check rasicam movie) and not high humidity (check telemetry) then a new flat field can/should be installed. This should happen about once a month (2 week cadence max). Reil will create an icon on the rasicam desktop that does this.

New field of view mask

When/if alignment changes a new field of view mask is needed. There is a labview vi that creates new masks. Once new mask is created a desktop icon/script will be run to make mask backups, make mask copies for python code, etc needs to be run.

New black body mask

When/if alignment changes a new black body mask is also needed. There is a labview vi that creates new masks. Once new mask is created a desktop icon/script will be run to make mask backups, make mask copies for python code, etc needs to be run.

Nightly cron jobs
  1. Youtube movie, night summary emails
  2. Data backup/transfer to SLAC, etc

Labview Task List

  1. The labview vi is controlled via a webpage that uses a shared memory block. This connection has been buggy in the past due to multiple users logging in, web caches etc. A user could click "Wake for night" and immediately after opening the system sees a caches "close for night" and shuts down again. Since wake up takes 5+ minutes this is not pleasant. Reil would like to remove all incoming connections from shared memory and replace that input with buttons built into the vi
    1. Wake button - ideally, we press this and system wakes and starts taking data. This would replace the wake signal from the rasicam webpage (turns on camera and blackbody, opens the dome, starts taking data)
    2. Shotdown button - replace the go to sleep button on the web page, turn off black body
    3. Restart data taking - if data stops, just restart data taking (see item that when error occurs, camera stays on, blackbody stays on and dome stays open.
    4. Maybe a open dome (but do not change camera/blackbody state)
    5. Maybe a close dome (but do not change camera/blackbody state)
    6. Maybe a camera/BB on
    7. Maybe a camera/BB off
  2. When an error occurs the system goes back to a closed and off state. This is not ideal. Replace with "if error, keep dome open, keep blackbody on and do not close the dome.
  3. There is a driver issue for the FLIR camera that causes startup to be much less automated. With the VI set up to allow a button to "try to connect to camera again and take data" debugging this will be much, much easier (currently 10 minutes to open, warm, connect, fail, close, try again)
  4. Bonus - turn off the process data loop. A python script is always running in the background and takes data from raw to processed state. Rather than process and serve data, just look for most recent file to appear, load it and serve it to web pages via shared memory (this includes information like BNORM, BCLEAR etc).
  5. Currently VI asks TCS for information (this needs to stay) and then sends TCS "answers" (this should stop). Python code is better processing the data and sending answers to TCS. Labview sending to TCS is redundant (and solutions sent from Labview are not as good).