Computer System User Guide for Observers (NcsUG)


mrt-lx1: observe mrt-doc mrt-remote
mrt-lx2: mrt-astro projectArchive mrt-enter
mrt-lx3: odp projects pool tapas


This guide is under development. We appreciate very much any comment and suggestion.

This document:

Computer Maintenance

Computer Account for Projects

For each observing project:

How to access from project accounts from Internet ?

You can use:

Where is my "home" directory

Note on Projects reloaded from the ProjectArchive

Important: avoid creating files with identical path/name on /vis and in the ProjectArchive. Files on /vis might be overwritten in this case !

Which Computer to Use



Please note:

We have defined aliases for computers that have a special functionality:

We also have defined:

See also the "Computer System User Guide" (see #Related).

File Access Policy

PaKo observing script templates and catalogs

You find PaKo predefined scripts and catalogs in subdirectory PaKo (and link pako).

Observation Data

Where is the data stored ?

Please note: Under PaKo, the user shall define the observing project with set project .... The project specified under PaKo shall normally be the same as the computer account used, except for pool observation. The project specified under PaKo is used to record the observation header in TAPAS as the observing project. This means that if the project is not defined under PaKo, you will not find the observation in TAPAS.

The observation data is stored in /vis/<compAcc>/observationData/ (<compAcc> = computer account where PaKo is running!)


# enter you project account
# calibrated spectra:
ls ~/observationData/mira
# imbfits files:
ls ~/observationData/imbfits

Note for pool:

Note for TAPAS:

observation header in TAPAS as the observing project. This means that if the project is not defined under PaKo, you will not find the observation in TAPAS.

compAcc = computer account under which Pako is used
project = specified under PaKo with ''set project'' command
<compAcc> and <project> should be the same except for pools

TAPAS: scan information is written using <project>, enter user <project> to get list of scans
ODP/MIRA .30m: written to /vis/<project>/observationData/mira/ 
  if directory exists otherwise in /vis/<compAcc>/observationData/mira/
other observationData: written to /vis/<compAcc>/observationData/ ...

How to copy my data to a USB memory or USB disk ?

  rsync -avH --bwlimit $BW $PR@mrt-lx3:/$PR/observationData/mira

How to send data to your "home" computer

PR=000-14  # example, use your project account name instead
# use rsync, please limit bandwidth to 1MB/s (~3GB/hr, 10% of our bandwidth to Internet)
#  from your Internet:
rsync -v --bwlimit 1000 $*.30m <path on your system>
#  from LAN
rsync -v --bwlimit 1000 ~/observationData/mira/*.30m <path to your system>

Observation Data Archive

Policy (v. 2013-08-20)

Details of the Project Archive can be found .

How to recalibrate observations from Internet

For recalibration, log into computer

slogin <projectID>

Please note:


Scenario: How to access the ProjectArchive from Internet ?

Your project account will normally be available during one more year. Connect to the project archive:

# replace 000-13 by your project ID
# connect to gateway
PR=<your project account>
ssh $   
# use data transfer tools (sftp, rsync) to send data to you

For more information about the Project-Archive see


Use different versions

May13 is now default at the 30-m from 16.07.2013 Use:


e.g. konqueror $GAG_ROOT_DIR/doc/html/class-html/index.html

displays the CLASS manual.

Bring your own device (byod)

Skype for communication between operator, (remote-)observer, and (Granada-)AOD

The Skype software can be used to communicate between the operator, observer, and AOD: We have several skype users defined:

Ask the operator for the password. (issue: http://issues:8000/system/ticket/1055)

In case the AOD is not at the telescope, you should check with the operator how to contact the AOD. You can:


You can use the following tools under the project account on computer observe:

Tracking Plots

Plots of az/el tracking are shown on standard monitors. You can also look at the tracking plots of previous scans, example:

# show last scan
# show a previous scan
showTracking 1002s1  # scan 1 of 2nd of October
# show a specific imbfits file
showTracking /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/data/imbfits/het/iram30m-bbc-20140104s60-imb.fits 

Besides the standard plot, a second plot which shows the tracking per subscan is created. Enter <return> in the terminal window to get the second plot.

Observation Queue

You can see the jobs of your observation queue using command:


You can:

ODP Results

You can see the last ODP results with command


Special Observing Modes

Calibration without Sky

Calibrations can be done without moving the antenna. This is useful for tests and receiver tuning. Note: The conditions for observations are checked independent of moving or not moving the antenna. This means a source has to be specified which could be observed (e.g.: >10d elevation).


Please note that we do not create e-mail boxes for project accounts! Our firewall is configured to only forward e-mail sent from our mail server. You cannot send e-mail from a mail server running on your laptop.


See the (Computer System User Guide).

Page Info

NcsUserGuide (last edited 2016-04-19 11:11:13 by WalterBrunswig)