Lucifer Acquisition and Spectroscopic Script Generator (lmsscriptgen)

  • Steve Allanson, LBTO (05 October 2010)

Thank you for volunteering to beta-test this script generator for LUCIFER MOS observations. We are greatly interested in your feedback on improvements to make, both in the program as well as in these instructions. Our intent is to distribute this to the partnership after your testing, hopefully reducing the frequency of errors encountered by the observers when executing MOS observations with LUCIFER at the LBT.

This program will pull relevant information from a LUCIFER MOS mask lms file and, using the included templates that accompany this script, generate syntactically correct LUCIFER acquisition and spectroscopic scripts. Note that these scripts ARE meant to be further edited by you to fill in the additional information not included in the lms files! But as generated they will run successfully on LUCIFER and at least do something reasonable as a starting point for your science goals.

The data used from the lms file includes the instrument setup (camera, filter, grating, central wavelength, and mask ID number), the target coordinates and position angle, the guide star coordinates if one is supplied while making the mask file, and the ProjectName (used for naming the output files).

Additional data not found in the lms file can be supplied prior to runtime, in associated .off, .gs, .ro, and .arch files. The script will use them if found in the current directory and search for keywords required for the script. If not found, the defaults set up in the template scripts will be used. See the files in the Example1 directory distributed with the lmsscriptgen program.

The lmsscriptgen can be installed on your system as follows:
  • Verify you have Perl v5.x installed (run: perl --version)
  • Download lmsscriptgen_v5.tar.gz (11 KB)
    • The current version is 5, dated October 4th 2010
  • Unpack it. It will create a directory called lmsscriptgen
  • cd lmsscriptgen
  • echo $PATH
  • mv lmsscriptgen /usr/local/bin
    • lmsscriptgen MUST be placed somewhere in your $PATH
  • mkdir $HOME/bin (if it does not already exist)
  • mv templateMOS.* $HOME/bin
    • lmsscriptgen looks for these files here
    • Please do not edit these files!


To run the script generator, cd to the directory that contains your lms file and run the following from a command line:

lmsscriptgen <lms_filename> 

The program will prompt you to supply some additional information if it is not available in the lms file. Given an input lms filename of mos1.23.MyProject.lms you will get output files called:
  • MyProject.acq - the acquisition script
  • MyProject.sci - the scpectroscopic science script
  • MyProject.README - a template README file for your project's details.

You did define a ProjectName when running LMS, didn't you?

The Generated Scripts

The ACQUISITION script (.acq) is set up to preset the telescope to your field as an ACTIVE preset, using the guide star if one is present in the lms file. Your spectroscopic mask is staged at the turnout position, and LUCIFER is set up for imaging the target field so the mask can be aligned on sky. A standard DIT of 10.0 seconds and an NDIT of 5 are used with the Ks filter. These are set to keep the dwell time on sky at 60 seconds to allow the wavefront sensor time to cycle and keep the telescope collimated. Two images are taken, the first one at an OFFSET position for a sky frame and then a second ACQUISITION back at the preset position for the source frame. This gives you an opportunity to inspect the image to identify the field and the MOS alignment sources. The ACQUISITION command pauses script execution so that you can complete the on-sky alignment of your mask. Note that it is possible when running the LMS software to define multiple guide stars. This program does not determine which you ended up using, it simply uses the first one it finds in the lms file. So, please CONFIRM YOUR GUIDE STAR!

The SCIENCE script (.sci) is set up to NOT preset the telescope so that the mask alignment is preserved. The telescope section is commented out, but it duplicates the information from the acquisition script for reference. The instrument section contains all of the spectroscopic set up as given in the lms file (camera, filter, grating, central wavelength, mask_in_fpu) and should not need to be changed. The readout section is set up with a generic DIT=300 multiple-endpoint (mer) exposure. The observing section contains a generic ABAB dither pattern with a ten arcsec offset. If you ran this script exactly as generated, you would end up with six exposures saved to disk. This will also need to be changed to match the needs of your science project.

Please refer to the LUCIFER User's Manual at this link on our wiki pages or this link on our instrument web pages. If you run into any problems or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

-- SteveAllanson, DavidThompson - 05 Oct 2010
Topic revision: r3 - 05 Oct 2010, SteveAllanson
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