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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    72

    Default Scheduler fixed time plans for exoplanet time series

    I'm evaluating ACP and Scheduler and have been successfully imaging several deep sky targets using the Scheduler.

    For some reason I have hard time to get exoplanet time series 'fixed time' plans to start and stop when I want them to.

    I'm trying to start the time series just before transit starts (I know the exact time), get as many 60 sec images during the transit and stop the plan soon after the transit has ended (know this time too). I've been trying different values in 'must run after' and 'must run before' (and same values for both) but for some reason have not been successful to start and end my exoplanet plan at my predefined times.

    I have not been using 'best effort' option which I guess I probably should have. I've also trying to understand the concept of 'best effort' and 'fixed-time' by reading the help files again and again but obviously failing to get that.

    What would be the best practices of imaging exoplanet time series?

    Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Petri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
    Posts
    4,640

    Default

    Petri,

    FWIW it's actually probably easier to build a "regular" ACP plan, using "waituntil..." to start at a specific time. In terms of your figuring out the start and stop times for Scheduler, it amounts to about the same amount of work.
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,197

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    I'm in agreement with Dick. If you are primarily doing long time series, there is no need for a scheduler. And it is difficult to get the scheduler to forget what it wants to do (for timing) and force it to do what you want for timing. When you have lots of random data to get, and/or you are imaging someting for which there are no timing/phasing constraints, the scheduler is great. But when there is a phasing constraint, a "manually timed" run makes more sense. I have some ideas for the suture on how to mix the two but it'll be next year...
    -- Bob

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Bob,

    We've been doing similar work here at ULO, observing time series with fixed-time constraints. Many other plans are submitted with no such time constraints: so we certainly need Scheduler for acquiring such data during the same night as the fixed-time observations.

    A few questions:

    1. I see in the release notes for Scheduler V3.3 that you added a new TimeRange constraint for constraining Observations between specified Julian dates. Is this effectively the same solution that you developed as a plugin for Tom Krajci, as described in the thread:

    http://forums.dc3.com/showthread.php...-specific-time ??

    This might be just the ticket for our (and Petri's) problem (but see Q3 below).

    2. I note that in V3.3 this feature is only available via the desktop Schedule Browser, but not via RTML nor the web interface. I think this is still the case, looking through the help under V3.5.3 (it isn't enabled in the web browser, at least; and the RTML mapping of Request.Schedule.TimeRange.Earliest and TimeRange.Latest apply to the Plan and not the Observation). Is this correct?

    3. While we ideally need RTML support for this feature, we will test it using the Schedule Browser as soon as we can - but it occurs to me to ask what will happen to an Observation which comprises, say, one ImageSet of 60 repeats of a 1-minute exposure through one filter which starts, say, 5 minutes before the latest time in the TimeRange constraint? Will it run for one hour, or quit after 5 minutes? We'd like it to do the latter - should I be repeating 60 ImageSets of 1 exposure each to achieve the desired cut-off?

    (In case it is of use to Petri in the meantime, though it is not ideal, what we currently do via RTML or web-browser submissions is break our fixed-time series into multiple one-hour plans, and submit them all with identical fixed-time constraints - `must run after' the start of the required window and `must run before' the end of the window. We run multiple plans like this in case a short unsafe-weather event forces the plan to be resubmitted - we don't want a 3-hour plan restarted just before the end of the window. This means that in the worst case, the last one-hour plan may start just before the end of the window and we acquire data for an hour or so beyond when we really wanted to stop - inconvenient, but not a showstopper. Of course, you could submit more, shorter, plans, but that might depend on the amount of work to set them up.)

    Thanks and best wishes

    Steve Fossey
    University of London Observatory, UCL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,197

    Default

    In ACP Scheduler, the Plan will not be started unless the entire plan will be run while the constraints are met. Best Efforts changes this to the behavior I think you want. It will start when the constraint is met and run until the constraint is not met, then stop.

    Yes, the Time Range is the one I did for Tom. The desktop browser automatically recognizes a new constraint and populates its interface. The web one does not. I didn't put it into the web interface or RTML because it was for one person only (I probably should not have even put it into the production Scheduler without going "all the way" ).

    With that said, I would suggest that you use the Fixed Time and not the Time Range constraint. This will cause Scheduler to block out that time slot and run the series, leaving its other logic to choose the rest of the time.
    -- Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    72

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    Thank you Steve! Your message was very helpful. Nice to see that it's not only me wanting this kind of functionality. I have had exactly same questions in mind that you brought up.

    I'm currently running time critical time series manually by initiating an ACP script. This is not the most convenient way but it gets the job done. I need to understand scheduler concepts like 'Best Effort' and 'Run After/Before' (and all combinations) better to be able to get this work with Scheduler.

    Petri Kehusmaa
    Searchlight Observatory Network

  7. #7

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    picking up this thread, i am about to move to expert and want to combine some fixed time one off transient events such as exoplanet transits, some regular slots such as light curve studies (small number of frames but repeated daily or every few days) and more flexible imaging runs. is there a comprehensive instruction file anywhere where i can see instructions on how the scheduler (desktop app/web option) works?
    if the help is all embedded within acp on desktop then i may be a bit stuffed for a while in looking into this as i am on holiday with my mac and so don't have cap local to me and the obs computer is off at the moment.. :-(
    thanks
    gavin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,197

    Default

    There is a lot of documentation available, but it is in free-text-searchable/indexed/hypertext format that can only be read on the PC, and on the web accessible via the ACP web user interface. If you would like to set up a call (many types possible) I would be happy to chat about it. That would probably be the best way to see how to apply Expert Scheduler to your needs. There is a learning curve with Expert Scheduler, and I can probably help you set out on a good track. I can do telephone, Skype, Google call, Facebook call, even Facetime. We are on UTC - 7 time and I am (usually) here M,Tu,Th,Fr,Sa 0800-1700.

    I see you somehow got an account here as 'gboyle' back in 2010, I found you in our system and you have support current through 2016 :-) Feel free to use the Expert Scheduler section as well as this Pre-Sales one. Either works.

    I would like to change your user name (login also) to "Gavin Boyle", it is sort of a custom here to use our real names instead of a BBS style login. Let me know. Your password would not change.
    -- Bob

  9. #9

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    Very happy to adopt the naming convention Bob and thanks for the reply on the schedule question. I'll get back on that when I get home. Gavin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10

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    Bob I'll try to do a call with you to set things up properly. I played around a bit last night on the acp Web Browser access to our scope. When I asked to submit a fixed time plan I could not find a window that would key me specify the time of such plan or observation. Is there a path I should follow? Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

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