Orientation

by Gustaaf Van Moorsel last modified Jan 23, 2017 by Lorant Sjouwerman

Assuming you already have successfully logged in to the OPT web application, and assuming that there is no message in the "Important message banner" that makes you decide to abandon the OPT for the moment, look for the navigation bar at the top. If "Observation Preparation" is not in bold face, but in normal font and underlined, click on it (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1: Web browser screen shot of the OPT opening page.

 

A short introduction to the layout of this tool's page has been given in the introduction (Chapter 1). This chapter uses the information contained in the resource catalogs (Chapter 2) and information contained in the source catalogs (Chapter 3). It is assumed that the contents of these chapters are familiar, and that the information in the (re)source catalogs is correct. There should be at least one project tree visible in the project browser, with a PB, and possibly a SB and a scan. To activate your project (i.e., to load it in memory), click on it and expand the branch by further clicking on the plus sign (\includegraphics[height=3mm]{psimg/expand.png.ps}) in front of its name. Do this for the project that you want to be working on. This may take a while if there are many SBs and/or many scans in the SB(s). As with every operation in the OPT web application, please exercise patience.

If you need to define an additional (test) project or if your project was not filled from the PST, use FILE - CREATE NEW - TEST PROJECT. This should create a new project tree that you can name and edit, try out some ideas, etc..

The purpose of the OPT is to combine a source from one of your source catalogs with a resource from one of your resource catalogs, and to specify an observing mode, a time interval and an intent for this combination. Repetitive combinations will build an observing schedule that defines a SB observation which may be executed by VLA operations. The sequence of scans in a SB will show in the left hand side column in the project (etc.) tree.

It is useful to outline the project in terms of the PB and SBs in advance. Use information from the proposal, etc. (see Chapter 1) and create (re)source catalogs with only the subset of (re)sources that will be used in the SB you are about to create. Having your (re)sources in small personal catalogs is convenient and faster than having large catalogs or switching back and forth between your personal catalog(s) and, e.g., the "VLA" catalog . Also consider exporting and removing (in that order!) all other (re)source catalogs and projects that you don't need. Check the remaining (re)sources for correctness before you continue.

The left hand side column

in the OPT contains a collection of projects. Projects are subdivided in a tree of PBs, each subdivided in SBs, which each contain scans and/or loops of scans. This column, per SB, thus holds the scan list, i.e., the column represents the observing schedule. In contrast to the RCT and SCT, much of the editing in the OPT will be performed in the left hand side column as well as in the main editing window.

 

The icon menu

in the OPT has more options than in the RCT and SCT. The common icons have the same functionality as the icons in the RCT and SCT, but as more editing is done in the left hand side column some extra icons (with their fly-over help tool-tip) are added. Only icons valid for the selected or highlighted items (e.g., PB or scan) are displayed. A full list of icons and their meanings is shown in the listing. These icons do not apply to the main editing window, only to the Project tree items.

Click to allow multiple selections for cut/copy/paste
Add a new (blank) scan
Page Add Add a new scan (with copy of source and hardware only)
Cut Cut (delete) selected tree item
Page Copy Copy selected tree item
Page Paste Paste selected tree item
Separator Icon menu separator (no action)
Arrow Up Move selected item up by one in current tree level sequence
Arrow Down Move selected item down by one in current tree level sequence
Arrow Left Promote selected item up, above the current tree branch (out of loop)
Arrow Right Demote selected item down, in the next current tree branch (into loop)
Separator Icon menu separator (no action)
Collapse All Collapse/hide all items in the selected tree
Expand All Expand/show all items in the selected tree

 

 

The menu strip

options in the OPT are a bit more complicated and at this time some of the options are disabled or non-functional. The options that are currently relevant in creating your schedule are given in the table.

 

FILE CREATE NEW TEST PROJECT EDIT
VIEW
HELP
PROGRAM BLOCK CUT [ITEM NAME] HIDE/UNHIDE PROJECTS ABOUT THE OPT
SCHEDULING BLOCK COPY [ITEM NAME] ABOUT ME
SCAN PASTE NEW FEATURES
SCAN LOOP TO DURATIONS DOCUMENTATION
SUBARRAY UNROLL LOOP CONTACT SUPPORT
REFRESH PROJECT
IMPORT PROJECT...
IMPORT SCHEDULING BLOCK...
IMPORT SCANS...
EXPORT PROJECT
EXPORT SCHEDULING BLOCK
EXPORT SCANS
EXPORT CATALOGS...
EXIT

 

Figure 4.2: Web browser screen shots of the SB details page, top portion.