Sunday, 28 October 2012

Observing tips #3 — Starting/stopping KBT experiments

KBT (KAIRA Background Task) as an observing system for scheduling and running pre-designed scripts. The following is the instruction set for getting KBT observations started.

Starting KBT observations
  1.  Be organised and log in to KAIRA01 at least 30 mins in advance, thus checking that you have a password, etc.
  2. When you have been allocated the telescope, you will receive an e-mail from someone (usually the previous observer). 
  3. When you get the "it's all yours now" e-mail, log in to the LCU.
  4. Double check the system is reset and ready to use. To do this, type:

    %  swlevel

    You should see "Currently set level is 0" and all processes are down. If not, get help.
  5. Check the current experiment with kbt.

    %  kbt --status

    It should be STOPPED. If not, get help.
  6. Change the experiment to yours.

    % kbt --list
    % kbt --experiment=rio3_v45z

  7. Start the experiment

    % kbt --start

    Your experiment is now starting. Note that it takes 2 minutes to fully start. Eventually, you will get your prompt back.
  8. Your experiment is now running. You should check that it is recording data files. First, use kbt to find where the data is going:

    % kbt --variables

    Look for "datapath".
  9. Use "ls" to inspect the datapath and check that the data is being recorded.If all is going well, there is no need to give the system further attention until the observations are over.
Stopping KBT observations

  1. Stop your observations with KBT.

    %  kbt --stop

    Note that this might take a little while.
  2. Double check that the system is reset and ready to use for the next observer. To do this, type:

    %  swlevel

    You should see "Currently set level is 0" and all processes are down. If not, get help.
  3. Then, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, send an e-mail to the next observer with a CC to lofar-obs to inform the observing team that you are finished.
That's it! You should now consider exporting your data.

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