TCS Operating Procedures (renamed from TCS Startup Procedures)

Rule of Thumb

Do not shutdown TCS components (subsystems, GUIs, mcspu, irs, oacontrol server, ...) at the end of the observing night. Rather, keep the system up and running.


The following overview steps should be performed in the late afternoon prior to the observing night.

1. Verify all hardware that is controlled by the TCS is turned on and ready to go. That pretty much encompasses the entire mtn. Often overlooked are the AGWs and the rotators.

2. Kill all firefox sessions running on all the workstations (obs1 - obs6). Firefox has a memory leak and thus should be restarted each day.

3. Make sure all TCS components are running (TCS subsystems, mcspu, irs, oacontrol server, ...). If you must check the status of a subystem, or start or stop a TCS subsystem or GUI, do it using the TCSGUI control panel (see below). Look at all GUIs and make sure none are displaying errors because of a problem.

4. Check the alarm handler for problems and take corrective action.

5. If you must restart the entire TCS, follow these instructions Full Shutdown and Restart of the TCS.

Starting and Stopping Subsystems and GUIs


1. Log in to the Telescope TO Station terminal.

1.1 Start the TCS GUI. The "TCS" GUI button (located at the upper left) will provide the control panel for starting and stopping TCS servers and GUIs.


Specific TCS GUI features that are of prime importance:



2. Check the weather on the big weather display, or start the ENVGUI and check the current weather conditions.


3. Start the Enclosure Control System GUI (ECS)


From the menu on top of the gui you will find the following options:

3.1AC. Air Compressor After Coolers. Click on enable

3.2CH. Chiller.

3.3DM Dome Cooling*

3.4DP Stealth Exhaust Dampers*

3.5EF Level 3 Exhaust Fans*

3.6HBS Hydrostatic Bearing Oil

3.7IC Instrument Cooling

3.8LGT. Click on the Override Manual Switch so that the lights can be turned on/off from the computer. Be sure to click on manual when you stop observing so that the day crew can turn lights on/off manually during the day.

3.9MV Mirror Ventilation

Click on Run/Stop to start/stop the mirror ventilation system. The mirror should be ventilated before opening the shutter doors. There should not be a difference greater than 10 degrees between the mirror temp. and the outside temp. when opening the shutter doors.

3.10 OPS

3.11 SD Shutter Doors

Move the telescope to the horizon before opening the shutter doors. Click on Display LEFT Latch Station Panel which will bring a GUI with the state of latch pins and ball detents for each door. Be sure that both doors are set to operate in automatic mode and that the status of the latch pins is torqued and the status of ball detents is extended as it is shown below:


Click on Open Both Doors which automatically will unlock the latches and then will open both doors. Promptly click on clear alarm when one of values turns red. If the automatic systems fails, click on Display Shutter Door Control Panel and then on one of the options depending on the status of the latches.

3.12 SEF Stealth Exhaust Fans (Not presently used)

3.13 SM Snow Melting. When snowing, you will need to start the snow melting system. This should be done before snow accumulates on the roof. Click on Set Snow Melt to activate the snow melting system. When snow has been melted on the roof of the enclosure, you will need to click on Set Ventilation which will blow cool air in the roof. The ventilation system should stop when the temperature reaches the Setpoint value.

3.13.1 Some advice on when to run, and when not to run the Snow Melting system

It doesn’t always make sense to start Snow Melting while it is actively snowing if the winds are blowing the snow off, and the enclosure roof is below freezing. Our general strategy is that allowing snow to blow off rather than causing it to stick is better. Another situation is having tightly adherent large sheets of ice/snow and below freezing temperatures, it is better to keep the roof cold so the material doesn’t loosen near opening time, since it is unlikely to be lifted by winds.

We suggest that the appropriate strategy is to turn on Snow Melting at the first hint that the storm is ending, or whenever the roof has become covered with snow or ice (no longer blowing off). The reality is that nothing is going to melt when the wind is 30 m/sec, and the temperature is -15 degC unless the Snow Melt system gets the assistance of direct sun. On the extreme cold and windy days, it may be useful to start Snow Melt ~2 hours before dawn, so the roof is warm when the sun comes up.


4.Start the Left Primary Mirror Cell GUI (PMCL).


The GUI should look as above, if not, click on all air on to start pumping air to the mirror and then click on auto-raise. You might have to click on recover panic in case you get a red panic sign before hitting the above buttons. Check for disabled actuators after the mirror is raised. The same procedure applies for the Right Primary Mirror Cell.


5.Log in to the jet terminal. Once you have logged in, type ./gotemp and hit return:


This will bring the MCSPU (Mount Control System Control Program) GUI:


5.1. Once there, type errot on to power on the enclosure motors. To stop the enclosure motors type errot off. Type ersetpoint 0. This command will align the telescope with the enclosure. Type er to go to the enclosure rotation option. When typing errot on you should expect to see the following,


5.2 Type pos to go to the position page. The commands to be used are:

Azready which energizes the azimuth drives. You may have to repeat this. If this fails, then type,

Azhold, azi, azenergize, azampsenable, azbrkrel, azi 0

Elready which energized the elevation drives. If this fails type.

Elhold eli 1 elenergize, elampsenable, elbrk rel all, eli 0

Elencsettype strip

Read the MCSPU documentation for more information.


6. Start the PCS, MCS and OSS GUIs



OSS Home Screen.png


7. Start the Instrument Interface GUI (IIF)



8. Start the Point Spread Function Control for the Left and Right sides (PSFL and PSFR)

I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ECSEXT ECS manage 158 K 12 Apr 2007 - 08:53 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
ECS.jpgjpg ECS.jpg manage 158 K 12 Apr 2007 - 23:20 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
IIF.jpgjpg IIF.jpg manage 184 K 28 Oct 2015 - 20:47 UnknownUser  
LPMC.jpgjpg LPMC.jpg manage 123 K 28 Oct 2015 - 20:56 UnknownUser  
LSDLSD.jpgjpg LSDLSD.jpg manage 235 K 12 Apr 2007 - 23:23 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
MCS.jpgjpg MCS.jpg manage 146 K 28 Oct 2015 - 20:52 UnknownUser  
MCSPU.jpgjpg MCSPU.jpg manage 109 K 12 Apr 2007 - 23:29 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
OSS Home Screen.pngpng OSS Home Screen.png manage 100 K 18 Apr 2022 - 14:50 PaulGrenz OSS First screen
OSS.jpgjpg OSS.jpg manage 110 K 28 Oct 2015 - 20:49 UnknownUser  
PCS.jpgjpg PCS.jpg manage 184 K 28 Oct 2015 - 20:37 UnknownUser  
PSF.jpgjpg PSF.jpg manage 77 K 28 Oct 2015 - 20:44 UnknownUser  
RSDLSD.jpgjpg RSDLSD.jpg manage 234 K 12 Apr 2007 - 23:22 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
errot.jpgjpg errot.jpg manage 121 K 12 Apr 2007 - 23:30 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
gotemp.jpgjpg gotemp.jpg manage 31 K 12 Apr 2007 - 23:28 DavidGonzalezHuerta  
tcsgui_annotated.jpgjpg tcsgui_annotated.jpg manage 419 K 01 Dec 2008 - 23:51 UnknownUser  
Topic revision: r16 - 18 Apr 2022, PaulGrenz
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