Make block file by pasting from space command e-mail; save as: /home/apollo/daily/housctl.blk
Go to the cocoa environmental page and get the phase, RA, declination, and libration parameters from the right-hand side. Some are needed for the log sheet, but RA/dec are necessary to pick an appropriate pointing star.
If the cocoa environmental page is inaccessible for some reason (then you probably have bigger problems), here is an alternate way to get the same information.
Prepare ahead of time by making sure the catalog file is available on the computer running TUI; then a pointing star can easily be picked from that catalog in the TUI interface (okay to choose star from catalog long before it's time to slew to it).
The monitor is located in the APOLLO cubicle overhead cabinets. The key is attached to a string strung through a table hole near the cubicle entrance. There is a coax cable with a BNC connector in the ops room labeled APOLLO.
If running remotely, a two-computer setup may be useful. One computer runs ATUI. The other computer has the streaming video from the STV, a browser with the monitor page (or weather info), a chat window, and optional backup regular TUI in case of ATUI crash.
You can find the schedule at: http://www.apo.nmsu.edu/Planning/obs.calendar/obs.calendar.html and follow links to appropriate quarter and the A instrument.
For dusk runs, especially if the moon is in the east, the obs-spec may permit slewing before sunset (and the actual sunset is a little earlier than the padded schedule anyway). Be ready to go 1015 minutes early if conditions permit.
The current APD-on-STV position is at 158, 93this should be marked in advance of the run, or checked if already marked. This must be after WARMUP and I like to do it before stares because James advised waiting a bit between WARMUP and first stare.
Sometimes it may be necessary to power cycle the CAMAC or APD supplies
Once the observing specialist indicates to you that it is okay to slew, slew to the pointing star. This is the star previously selected, and should be found by the obs-spec in the APOLLO catalog.
IF NO STAR APPEARS:
Use TUI menu: TCC: Secondary Focus. Increments of 50 μm are most useful; unlikely outside range from 200 to +200.
Set offset size in box below ATUI pointing tool: max = 5 arcsec. If moving while watching the STV, use the CCD coordinate frame to make this easier. A right arrow will make the star move to the right on the screen.
Use the Lunar Pointer Tab to select target and hit Slew Telescope Button. The TUI Status window should reflect a move in progress, and the star should quickly disappear from the STV.
This should be coordinated via the obs-spec, who may want to establish phone/intercom contact with the spotters once there. It may be preferable for the observer to be in communication with the spotters (observatory phone number is 575.437.6822), to cut out the obs-spec middle-man. Spotters can help diagnose problems (laser coming out, dropouts, etc.).
If you do not do this, the pointing may be off by about an arcsecond, and the RX will not be set correctly for the night.
On the illuminated portion near the pointing crater (unless too dim to matter), perform a FLAT to calibrate the APD response. Best done before adjusting pointing to the crater, which is not very spatially flat.
Enter 2 in the box to give yourself two minutes of power check, and then click the Measure Power button. This is best done at the lunar altitude, so the SHG tuning is right for the altitude. First, assuming lasing, click the voltage down (R value goes up) until the laser output goes to zero. Note the R value (threshold) and then give it a ^30 to operate 30 V over threshold (could give it an additional ^5 for total of 35). Next, tune the SHG CW or CCW to find the peak power, and note the peak power level. Keep in mind that we're blasting the power meter during this process, so keep it short and efficient. Hit STANDBY when you're done to stop lasing.
Tip: Expect the SHG tuning to require the top tuning button if the telescope is higher than at its last tuning, and the lower tuning button if the telescope has moved lower since last tuning.
Don't know why this works, but it seems to help avoid crashes in first run. Skip StartNubs, but do connDev, listen, and Get Status.
Don't forget to kill Hippo windows you don't need that will slow you down.
Tip: Move Hippo windows into a convenient arrangement so you see all you need at the same time. I usually delete the two LUN and FID shot-count histograms to the right of the LUN/FID correlated TDC histograms, and place the LUN hitgrid and tracking history in these places.
Now that we're close to lasing on the moon, take time to adjust the pointing as best as you can to the reference crater.
They will have to press the big green button on the interlock console. If it doesn't light up green, have them check the status of the blinking lights and bypasses to troubleshoot the problem.
Use ATUI to slew to the A15 reflector. The polynomial should be found without error.
On the Laser Tuning tab, open the cavity shutter (laser is not flashing), so that the little green shutter light comes on.
Tip: The laser shutter will only open if PGM2 is activated. This should happen naturally after laser power measurement. But if for some reason this is not the case, hit the Program Up button twice, hit Activate, then try the shutter. The display should read PGM2 and indicate the green shutter light.
Check with obs-spec, and have them announce to spotters that we're about to come out of the dome.
Now the fun starts with one click of a button.
During spin-up, the caltdc should report 999 or 1000 good/whole events for all 5 gate widths (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Fids should appear in a spike. A level between 1.25 and 1.75 is good. Any more or less justifies a change to dphase. Try 50 unit changes. We should start getting lunar gates 2.5 seconds in, and the FPD statistics should look roughly flat-topped in the FID window, over to the right in blue.
Make sure you are no longer in boresight offsets, and set the offset increment to 0.75 arcsec (usually) or more in bad seeing (not sensible to do more than 1.5, though, as APD is 1.4 across). Refer to the pointing tracker to keep straight the positions you've visited. It doesn't matter what coordinate frame you choose, but native is perhaps the most sensible at this stage. If you make a complete loop without finding it, scratch your head and figure out what went wrong. Pointing? RX beam at correct target (or close)? Horrible seeing? Full moon? Clouds? Good luck!
Should generally be within 200 TDC units of zero, most often slightly negative of late (2008). Record predskew in log.
Once you find a signal, change the raster interval to 0.5 or 0.25 arcsec, and chose the APD frame so you can use the hitgrid for feedback. Remember that one pixel is 0.35 arcsec, so at 0.25 arcsec, you expect small changes. If you hit the right arrow, the target (signal) gets shoved to the right, not the window. If the signal is strong at the bottom, use the up arrow to center it.
Tip: If signal is strong, it's helpful to go into the hippo control tab and increase the default on the hitgrid from 40 to 60; this makes the hot spot on the hitgrid more stable so you're not overguiding. Conversely, if signal is weak, lowering the number of photons shown in the hitgrid will keep it from showing stale data.
As soon as you have a reasonable pointing, note the offsets in the small text windows under the pointer arrows. Don't forget these, because they will be useful for the next reflector. There will likely be small drift during the run. If this is evident, note the direction, which will help you find later reflectors by following the trend (but don't fool yourself and overdo!). It is most useful to record offsets near the end of the run for use at the next reflector.
When slewing to the next reflector, the guide offsets are zeroed. You must manually move the scope back to the hot-spot offsets. Easiest to use native coordinates to do this. Within 0.5 arcsec is probably good enough.
Having checked the schedule before the run, be a good citizen and respect the boundaries. Plan ahead so you don't run out of time. Often the last run's shot count can be adjusted to match the schedule.
For pre-dawn runs, ending as scheduled should be okay, but ask spotters if they can see well enough in the last 1015 minutes.
After the last shot has left the building, the cold spotters can come in. Coordinate this with the obs-spec.
They can have the telescope. Be sure to thank them for their help!
Best if done before the telescope move, which you can usually do if efficient. Could measure threshold, but a spot-check on power is higher priority.
Once satisfied that all is done/logged, you can enter cooldown state and close out TUI.
In addition to APOLLO Core, it is common practice to Bcc Mark Klaene, Bruce Gillespie, and Suzanne Hawley (mark, gillespie @apo.nmsu.edu; firstname.lastname@example.org). Russet has set the standard on how these are formatted and what information is provided.