This version has been included as the official checklist on 14-Nov-2011 JMH

Checklist for the start/end of the night at LBT


The following procedure should be performed each evening before observing. It should be carried out with the intent to have the dome open 45 minutes before sunset when the Lucifer observers need sky flats, or 10 minutes after sunset for LBC observing. Check the ephemeris and ask the Observers about their daily requirements, i.e. darks, bias, sky flats.
The nightly almanac can be generated on obs1 as follows: in a terminal window,
  • cd /home/telescope/sallanson
  • ./almanac
Sanity-check the time, date, and location.

10. Check with the day crew about recent changes or other special conditions that might be present.

9. Set the Snow Melting system to Ventilation mode on ECSGUI to remove daytime heat from the roof and shutters. Typically this would be 2 hours before opening.

New. Verify that the audible alarm in the control room has not been unplugged during the day.

New. Verify that the glass temp. will not be more than 5C different than outside temp. when opening.
You should have a sense of what the outside temperature will be when it comes time to open. See the Weather Guidelines for Opening Enclosure for details on maximum temperature difference. You may need to manually cool/heat the primaries prior to opening. To do so, do the following:
  • Start Mirror Ventiliation in the ECS > MV page.
  • In the PMCGUI > Ventilation page, manually change the offset value to something that changes the setpoint to where you want it.
  • Be sure that the duct temperature is no more than 5C above/below the current glass temperature.
  • You will almost certainly encounter a "supply temperature out of range" warning in ECSGUI, so be sure to clear those before they become alarms and shut off MV.
  • REMEMBER to restore the offset to a value of -0.90 when you've sufficiently cooled/heated to within tolerance.

11. Do a walkthrough of the telescope following the checklist (004s004) located in the aux control room on level 5. Be sure that all lights are off on 4, 3U, 3L, 1, and in the aux bay.

1. Check the TCS Operating Procedures page on the Wiki (Operators). Make sure all the subsystems are running.

2. In case of a power outage, go to the TCS Full Shutdown and Startup Procedure to bring all the subsystems back up.

3. Authorize the requested instrument on IIFGUI (Lucifer, MODS, LBC, or IRTC). Verify PCS is correctly sided (non-binocular builds).

4. When switching from one instrument to another, check the necessary configuration of the swing arms.
For example, to work with LBCblue, prime focus must be deployed while secondary and tertiary must be retracted. When using Lucifer, tertiary and secondary must be deployed and prime focus must be retracted. Follow instructions for Moving Swing Arms on the Operators Wiki for how to do this. A visual check of the swing arms should be performed prior to moving them, e.g. check if retroreflector is in place, etc.
  • For IRTC with DIRECT rotators: PF=Retracted TM=Retracted AdSec =Deployed
  • For Lucifer: PF=Retracted TM=Deployed AdSec =Deployed
  • For LBC: PF=Deployed TM=Retracted AdSec =Retracted
  • For MODS: PF=Retracted TM=Retracted AdSec =Deployed

8. Verify that OSS is talking to the M2 hexpods. Re-initialize hexapods as required. (This is particularly important for the adaptive secondary because the hexapod gets power cycled along with the secondary.)

New. Verify status of primary mirrors.
Check Status Summary section of PMCGUI. Some possible scenarios:

  • Panicked mirror, mirror is down.
    • Click Recover Panic. Cell status should change to 'Running'.
    • Click All Air On in the Air Control section of PMCGUI. Monitor the Air Pressure sub-GUI until all loops are On.
    • In the Actuators sub-GUI, click Enable All in the event of disabled actuators. Some may not enable until the mirror has been raised.
    • Click Auto-Raise in the Raise/Lower/Bump section of PMCGUI. Monitor the Weight section until the weight shows 100%.
    • If necessary, return to the Actuator sub-GUI to enable any remaining actuators.

  • Disabled actuator(s).
    • Mirror status is yellow. Click Enable All in the Actuators sub-GUI.

  • Some other scenario.
    • Hover mouse over status to get a description of yellow/red warnings.
    • React accordingly.

5. Clear all active optics corrections from the previous night on the PSF Primary Mirror Optics and Collimation Control subGUI for both telescope sides.
  • Clear Active Optics on Primary
  • Remove all corrections from Pointing Corrections, Instrument Offsets, Secondary Offload, etc. on Primary
  • Verify the lookup table and temperature corrections are enabled.
  • Click 'initialize' in order to restore global offsets (you may want to note the previous nights values in case of similar conditions). Reset Inputs, Collimate.
  • On an Xterm (TO Station) do a PTreset (you may want to note previous nights values of IE/CA/IA in the event of similar conditions)
  • If using LBCB, set Z11 = +1000 on SX.

New. Zero the relative encoders on the primary mirror hardpoints.
  • click Zero RE in the Hardpoints sub-GUI of PMCGUI.
  • You may need to periodically do this throughout the night after large changes in elevation. This is done to prevent the endless "primary mirror collimation error"s that arise from the encoders being slightly offset (you will usually see the total collimation of RX or RY stay yellow in this case)

6. For Gregorian observing, Clear all active optics corrections on the PSF Secondary Mirror Optics and Collimation Control subGUI.
  • Clear Active Optics on Secondary
  • Remove all corrections on Secondary
  • Click 'initialize' in order to restore global offsets (you may want to note the previous nights values in case of similar conditions). Reset Inputs, Collimate.

New. For Bent Gregorian observing, Click Initialize on the PSF Tertiary Mirror Optics and Collimation Control subGUI.

7. For Gregorian observing, Set the 'Secondary Control' parameters in the left and right PSF arbitrators.
For Both Sides:
  • Set the Secondary Control to 'Split' mode.
  • Set the Z11/Z22 offloads to 'M1'.
  • Set all other options to 'No'.
  • On a Commissioning night, double check the necessary requirements (specifically AO nights).

12. Startup the appropriate rotator(s).
  • in MCSGUI > Rotator > (focal station) > ON
  • in MCSPU: rcready lfbg (for example)
If the rotator is in a fault mode, check the control panel in the upper right tree house for the MCR status. A restart of MCSPU may be necessary (loop counts not updating and flashing red is a good indication).

16. Start the appropriate AGW(s) and home the stages.
ssh to the AGw server by typing ssh agwuser@agw-control (TO will have password). See Commissioning.AGwStages for additional details.

The following instructions show X as the AGw unit in question: 2=RFBG; 3=LFBG; (4=LDG, but MODS takes care of it's own AGw control)
  • The AGw units are usually left running, but if needed:
    • startAGW -u X (wait a full minute for things to power on).
    • To check if the AGw is running, a simple command like getxy -u X will let you know if communication is established.
  • home -u X -m 3
  • home -u X -m 20

You may encounter some kind of communication error, which in most cases can be resolved by restarting the OACserver. See Commissioning.AGwStages for instructions. In all likelihood, the associated GCS subsystem will need to be restarted after this.

Because the AGw units for MODS are embedded inside the instruments, AGw startup requires using the MODS interface:
  • Make sure that the MODS instrument mechanism service (mmcService) and AGw stage server (agwServer) are running (ask the support astronomer).
  • Make sure that the MODS Control Panel (modsUI) is running (ask the support astronomer or observer).
  • Ask the observer or support astronomer to put MODS in OBSERVING mode. This will retract the internal calibration unit and open the instrument hatch to the sky, and unlock the AGw camera XY stage.
  • Restart the GCS, which will re-initialize the GCS/MODS interface and reset the MODS AGw XY stage (NOTE: MODS must be the authorized instrument on that side for this to occur).

These steps need to be completed before a test preset can be executed with MODS.

13. Startup the HBS, enclosure drive and telescope drives. Tilt the telescope to horizon.
  • Verify stowpins are disengaged in MCSGUI > Elevation sub-GUI
  • HBS > Start HBS (may need to reset alarm)
  • in MCSPU monitor the hbssys page until the pressure reads > 100
  • click enclosure drive on
  • in MCSPU monitor the er page until all bogie drives show ready/ON
  • click ready on AZ and EL drives.
  • in MCSPU monitor the pos page until AZ and EL drives show ready
  • type 0 in EL and click slew

In MCSPU (monitoring values as above):
  • hbsstart
  • errot on
  • elready
  • azready
  • elslewtohold 0

14. Set the telescope-enclosure relative rotation setpoint to zero.
In MCSPU, monitoring the pos page:
  • ersetpoint 0
Verify the PVT value settles on 0.0.

15. Fill LBC cameras with LN2, either LBCblue or LBCred or both depending on which is mounted.
In all likelyhood, this will end up happening prior to your walkthrough. Talk to the Instrument Support person on duty for the status of the fill.

17. Reset encoder zeropoints. This is done only at AZ=120.0 EL=90.0 degrees.
Follow the Resetting Encoders instructions on the Operators Wiki as time permits (could be before or after opening). In MCSPU, monitoring on the enc page:
  • azloadfromabs
  • elloadfromabs

18. Set telescope encoders to strip mode.
In MCSPU, monitoring the enc page:
  • elencsettype strip
  • azencsettype strip

19. Send a test preset, or have the observers send a test preset to see that everything is working.
This could be done before or after opening. Follow the "issuing a closed dome preset" instructions (provided by Dave T.). The test preset file is located at /home/telescope/PresetCheck/ACTIVE and the name of the file is

If MODS is in Calibration Mode (hatch closed, calibration unit deployed, AGw stage locked), the test preset will fail, sometimes in confusing ways.

Ask the support astronomer or observer to put MODS into OBSERVING mode (open hatch, retract calibration unit, unlock the AGw stage), and then restart the GCS and wait for the reset to complete before issuing the test preset.

20. Move telescope to horizon pointing before opening shutter doors. (Substitute EL=20 degrees if Adaptive Secondary is running.)

21. Weather permitting, open the shutter and ventilation doors.
Check the Weather Guidelines for Opening Enclosure on the Operators Wiki page. If it is raining, slew to AZ=120.6 to line up the drains.

22. Turn off all the observing chamber lights.

23. Move telescope to the desired position for sky flats. (This is normally done with a preset from the instrument.)

24. Start Mirror Ventilation on ECS (Typically 10 minutes after opening the shutter doors).
You may encounter a situation where the outside temperature is drastically different than glass temperature. See the Weather Guidelines for Opening Enclosure for restrictions on temperature differences. See step New on how to prepare the glass prior to opening.

In the few hours after starting MV, you should expect to see frequent "supply temperature out of range" warnings in ECS, and can be easily cleared. Currently these messages are not logged in LSS. If left uncleared, they become alarms and will shutoff MV - Check back often.

25. Run top on the to-station and look for TCS tasks that are using more than 600m of virtual memory. Stop and restart GUIs or subsystems as needed. Use q to exit from top.

26. Before the end of twilight, make sure all the dark shades in the control room and other parts of the fixed enclosure are closed.

End of the night

1. Slew telescope to horizon (before closing shutter doors).
  • type 0 in EL and click slew (Substitute EL=20 degrees if Adaptive Secondary is running.)

  • elslewtohold 0 (Substitute EL=20 degrees if Adaptive Secondary is running.)

2. Close the Shutter Doors.
In the Shutter Door (SD) subGUI of ECSGUI, click Close Both Doors. Monitor the left and right latch station panels, to verify the process completes properly.

3. Stow the telescope and park the enclosure.
Park at an azimuth opposite sunset, unless rain is expected then park at 120.6 deg. Sunset is between 300 (summer solstice) and 240 (winter solstice). Thus we would park between 120 and 60, respectively, based on the season.

  • type 90 in EL and click slew
  • type 120 in AZ and click slew

  • elslewtohold 90
  • azslewtohold 120

4. Turn off drives Azimuth, Elevation, and Enclosure drives.
  • click Waitopr for Azimuth and Elevation.
  • click Drive off for Enclosure.

  • azwaitopr
  • elwaitopr
  • errot off

6. Turn off Mirror Ventilation. (ECSGUI)

7. Close Vent Doors if they were opened. (ECSGUI)

8. Park and turn off the rotator(s).
LUCIFER (at LFBG) is parked at 341 degrees. MODS (at LDG) is parked at 105 degrees.

In MCSGUI > Rotator > (focal station) subGUI:
  • type park position angle (341 for example), click SlewToHold
  • click OFF

  • rslewtohold lfbg 341 (for example)
  • rcwaitopr lfbg (for example)

9. Stop HBS.
  • click Stop HBS

  • hbsstop

11. Turn off the DIMM if you have been using it.

New. Turn on the lights in the chamber.

New. Stop pointing log if you started it.

New. Home AGw stages.

10. AGw units, M2 hexapods, M3 units and Primary Mirror cells are normally left running during the daytime unless an extended shutdown is planned.

New. Submit night report.

-- SteveAllanson - 21 Jul 2010
Topic revision: r19 - 14 Nov 2011, JohnHill
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