Observing Tool (OT)

OT is a software application developed to support the creation and execution of schedules of Observation Blocks (OBs); in this context, a schedule is simply a list of OBs.

OT has two classes of users: (a) the schedule builders who prepare schedules for an observing night; and (b) the Data Flow Operators, who execute the schedules during an observing night. Of course, the same person can built and later execute a schedule.

OT has a graphical user interface and connect directly to the OB repository. The application defines a number of views, mapped to screen windows: the Main view, to control the whole application; the Repository Browser view, to select Observation Blocks from the repository and add them to schedules; and the schedule views, to manipulate individual schedules.

Data Flow operators do not need to concern themselves with the Repository Browser view, since it is only used to construct schedules.

The Scheduler

The selection of the next, most appropriate, OB to be executed is done by the scheduler. The user interface to the scheduler is the Observing Tool (OT).  The OT reads the database in Garching (or the local memory cache in the schedule selected has been recently read).

Once an observation block is selected, then, as soon as BOB requests the next observing block its parameters are passed to BOB. The templates them selves live within the control file system and the only interface between the OT and BOB is the TSF.

Starting up OT.

Starting OT clicking the Observing Tool option on the pop-up menu (on vue), a Login to Observing Tool window will ask for User ID and password. The start-up procedure is shown in a window with a progress bar. Once the start-up is over, the Main view pops up. In this window, select the period, then click on File and Open. This brings up a window with a list of the currently available schedules. Click on a schedule to select it, and then on the OK button. This will create the schedule views. It is generated by reading the selected schedule from a database which currently resides in Garching. To select an observing block, simply click on it. It will then be highlighted. Next time BOB request an OB from OT, the highlighted one will be passed on.

Viewing the contents of OBs in OT

Clicking with button 1 of the mouse, selects an OB. Clicking with button 2 on a selected OB drops down the hierarchical contents of the OB. Clicking with button on a selected OB (or a selected template) displays the details of the parameters.