The unified GuideCam Tool
What is the unified GuideCam tool?
The unified GUideCam Tool (GUCT) is a Java-based observation preparation tool currently offered for VISIR, HAWK-I, VIMOS and MUSE. The tool makes use of the Aladin desktop application (v9.0) and allows the user to visualize the instrument Field-of-View on a sky image, define the central pointing of the telescope, plan observations that involve a sequence of telescope offsets, select telescope guide stars and/or tip-tilt stars, and create ESO compliant finding charts. Furthermore, GUCT can directly interact with P2PP (version 3.4.2 or higher) as well as with the web-based application p2 in order to attach finding charts or to propagate acquisition template parameters, such as guide star coordinates, to the OB.
IMPORTANT note for VIMOS and VISIR users: GUCT replaces and unifies the VISIR-specific GuideCam tool, the VIMOS-specific GuideCam tool, and the Pre-ImageLess Multi Object Spectroscopy (PILMOS) preparation software.
The use of GUCT is mandatory for all VIMOS (pre-)imaging and PILMOS observations.
The unified Guidecam Tool is mostly platform independent except for PILMOS. So if you are planning to use PILMOS please choose the appropriate distribution for your operating system below. GUCT packages are available for Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.
The current version of the unified GuideCam tool is 2.1.0. It supports the instruments VIMOS, VISIR, HAWK-I and MUSE. With respect to the previous version this release includes the support of MUSE AO, as well as some general improvements and bug fixes. All users should use this latest release.
To install the unified GuideCam tool, you can either use the ESO Mac & Linux software repositories, or you can retrieve the tarball for your operating system and install it via the instructions provided below.
ESO Mac & Linux software repositories
GuideCam requires Java (version 1.8 or higher). Java is automatically pulled in for installation as needed for installation via any of the Linux software repositories, but for installation on macOS please make sure that the Java executable can be found by the system (try the command "java -version" from the command line), or alternatively define the environment variable JAVA_HOME to point to the installation directory of Java, e.g. with a command such as:
Otherwise an appropriate JDK should be installed from Oracle, or similar.
To install the relevant repository, please follow the relevant instructions at ESO Mac & Linux software repositories. In the final instruction for each OS/distribution replace the generic <package_name> with eso-guidecamtool. i.e. one of the following, as appropriate for your OS/distribution:
sudo port install eso-guidecamtool
sudo dnf install eso-guidecamtool
sudo yum install eso-guidecamtool
sudo apt-get install eso-guidecamtool
Once installed simply issue the command GuideCamTool to run the software.
Installation from tarball
GuideCam requires Java (version 1.8 or higher). Please make sure that the Java executable can be found by the system (try the command "java -version" from the command line), or alternatively define the environment variable JAVA_HOME to point to the installation directory of Java, e.g. with a command such as:
Otherwise an appropriate JDK should be installed via your package management system or from Oracle, or similar.
Once Java is installed, please follow these steps:
- Move to the directory where you want to install GUCT.
- Download the following tarball to the chosen directory:
- Unpack the tarball
gunzip -c GuideCamTool[Version].tar.gz | tar xvf -
This creates a directory structure that starts with:
- Move to the GUCT directory:
- STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: if you had previously GUCT version 1.x installed on your computer, first remove the default configuration file from your home directory:
- Start-up the software
If the GUCT control panel and the Aladin sky view panel appear, you have successfully installed GUCT. You can delete the compressed TAR file.
- The Unified Guidecam tool (GUCT) Users Manual is available for download (PDF file)
HAWK-I specific comments on the unified GuideCam tool
The use of GUCT is highly recommended for HAWK-I observation preparations. It efficiently supports the planning of observations, in particular when offsets will be used. GUCT also allows to prepare ESO compliant finding charts and has a direct interface to P2PP to attach the created finding charts, as well as to transfer acquisition parameters which are specified during a GUCT session.
Note that the current version of GUCT supports the standard imaging mode of HAWK-I but not yet the fast phot mode.