Simple Instructions for running the IR Test Camera

The IRAF package LBTtoolsIRTC communicates with the IIF and the IRS for the IRTC. See document 609g012 for the full IRTC user manual. The interface consists of a server "IRS" that communicates with the Windows camera computer, and a client "IRC" that communicates with the IIF and the IRS from the command line.

The client "IRC" uses ICE (Internet Communication Engine) to communicate with both the IIF and IRS. ICE requires a "proxy" to identify what "endpoint" is desired, and the proxy used by the IRC is the invoked program name. Several proxies are already defined (as symbolic links): irc, IRC, IRCL, IRCR, IRC1, IRC2. For all these proxies, the default IIF instrument name is "IRTC" and the default focal station is "bentGregorianFront". For all but IRCR the default side is "left"; "right" for IRCR. For all but IRC1 the default camera is "IRTC2"; "IRTC1" for IRC1. Any user can define additional symbolic links to get yet more proxy names. Any proxy can be reassigned to any legal combination of instrument and focal station using the "Register" command, and camera using the "SetCamera" command. Note when two IRC clients use the same proxy, they will be linked to the same IIF object, which means sharing target, guide stars, etc. If one client change the target, it affects the other client.

For example, to change the instrument to MODS2 and camera IRTC1 for the proxy "irc"
irc Register 'directGregorian right' MODS
irc setCamera 1

Use the commands "irc -help register" and "irc -help setcamera" to learn how to change instruments and cameras.


The IRC client is installed in the NFS-shared directory /lbt/irtc/current/bin/IRC.

The software is configured to drop images in the "/newdata" directory with a prefix of "irtc". This means "/newdata" must be mounted read-write on the computer running the "IRS".

Starting/Stopping the irs server

The "IRS" server software runs on the machine "irs". In theory, it should need no user interaction.

See the instructions at Operators/RestartingIRS


Message of success and/or errors are sent to the TCS syslog (/lbt/log/current.log). Grep for "IRS" to pick out the "irs" messages.

  • % journactl -f

Only one copy of the IRS can run at one time. If more are started, they fail with ICE errors complaining about "Address already in use".


If "IRS" reports: [E] Exception was caught:[Error] IRSocket::GetParameters -> IR System busy. Command has been understood, but NOT executed. This means that the IRTC is in movie mode and cannot accept socket commands (GetImage and GetSeqImages are affected by movie mode, other status commands are not.).


Unfortunately, there is no command available through the socket connection (irc) to move the IRTC focus stage - neither to get information from it (see CAN 609g003). This is acceptable at present (Bent Gregorian WebHome) since we will adjust the focus using the hexapod of the Rigid Secondary Mirror. Jose says (12-Apr-08) that he can implement such a command if needed.


The IRC first looks in the current directory for the file "config.client". If the file is not found, the environment variable IRC_CONFIG is used. If no file is found the program exits with an error. IRC_CONFIG is properly defined on all computers that need it.

Be warned that "IRAF" (Dave) and "IDL" (Doug) use different values for the IRC.Verbose parameter. The distinction is managed in the ~LBTO/.cshrc file.

-- %USERSIG{ChrisBiddick - 2015-11-03}%
-- JohnHill - 16 Apr 2008
Topic revision: r15 - 11 Feb 2020, MatthieuBec
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