The PRCC environment

Jump to: navigation, search

This section summarizes some features of the CCDSH installation at the 1-m Ritchie-Crétien-Coudé telescope (RCC, for short) of the Konkoly Observatory at Piszkéstető mountain station, after the general refurbishment of the whole system. Here we summarize the commands specific to the RCC telescope. The telescope (and some of its instruments, e.g. the spectrograph) control can be reached through the computer m5. The Andor EMCCD is controlled by m16. For the necessary accounts, please contact the system admins.


Global startup script

The global startup script of the PRCC system is:

set     verbosity       1
set     xpa on
set     epoch   2000.0
set     location longitude=+19:53:54 latitude=+47:55:08 timezone=local
set     location fixed
criorcc -t on

For the explanation of each command, see the main documentation of the CCDSH package.

Commands and issues specific to the RCC telescope

Rcc status

Additional information on the status of the telescope can be seen using the rcc status command resulting in:

CRIO FPGA status:               normal (0)
RCC mount limitations:          normal
RCC mount status:               idle
RCC mount configuration:        east
RCC dome status:                idle
RCC dome slit:                  closed
RCC covers: tube:               closed
RCC covers: mirror:             closed
RCC finder cap:                 closed
RCC guider cap:                 closed
RCC mount speed:                6000.0 (arcsec/sec) = 1.6667 (deg/sec)


Sidereal tracking is turned off by default, and also stops when exiting ccdsh. Note that the closing slit or rotating dome also halts in this case. The tracking can be turned on/off with the regular set mount track on|off command.

Dome control

Instead of the set dome auto on|off command, the automatic tracking of the dome can be controlled with the rcc dome auto|manual sequence. Note that the regular set dome auto on|off is also accepted without error messages but currently results in nothing.

The dome shutter can be opened with the usual set dome slit open|close command. To rotate the dome, the set dome azimuth=value command can be used, strictly after giving the rcc dome manual command.

The home position of the dome is around azimuth=156.3. This way the slit can be seen on the image of the internal camera.

Tube and mirror covers

The tube and mirror covers can be controlled via the rcc tubecover|mirrocover open|close scheme. For instance, the mirror cover is opened by the command

rcc mirrorcover open

Dome lights

The lights in dome (not the flat lamps, however this command is used to control the flat lamps at the PSCH!) are controlled with the set dome light 1 on|off sequence. Note that the lights are also controlled with an alternating switch in the dome, therefore the required parameter (on|off) depends on the position of the switch.

Flat lamps and flat position

The flat lamps can be controlled outside of ccdsh with the energenie-manage program:

energenie-manage --flat-bright on|off
energenie-manage --flat-faint on|off

To align the flat screen and the telescope, rotate the dome to the home position: set dome azimuth=156.3, and then move the telescope to the flat position: rcc slew 7 -4.5. Do not forget to stop the mount when you make dome flats!

Observing in upper position

The telescope control can currently slew automatically to targets in its lower position. The telescope can be positioned to the upper position manually using raw coordinates by the rcc slew command. To do this, calculate the raw coordinates - hour angle and declination - in degrees: tau+180, 180-dec, i.e. the coordinates of the base position will be (180, 132). To calculate the actual hour angle, you can use H.A.=(ST*15-RA*15)+180. To position the telescope to a given target, e.g. PV Cep:

CCD> resolve "PV Cep"
"PV Cep" ra=20:45:53.94 dec=+67:57:38.6 epoch=2000.0
CCD> date
 LD=2015.06.18 LT=22:22:39.6 UT=20:22:39.6 JD=2457192.349069 ST=15:29:16.4
CCD> rcc slew 101 112

After the first positiononing, you might want to iterate with the actual sidereal time and hour angle.


In case of any malfunction, use the criorcc -l -o filename command to save the debug messages to the file specified. A typical output of the above command looks like this:

   54378 1408415583.029   -8201 81.0883   -0.01399
   54379 1408415583.237   -8201 81.0638    0.02453
   54380 1408415583.445   -8201 81.0760   -0.05012
   54381 1408415583.653   -8201 81.0760   -0.02642
   54382 1408415583.861   -8201 81.0638   -0.00371
   54383 1408415584.069   -8201 81.0730   -0.05808
   54384 1408415584.277   -8201 81.0638   -0.00569
   54385 1408415584.485   -8201 81.0577   -0.00159
   54386 1408415584.696   -8201 81.0638   -0.00654
   54387 1408415584.901   -8201 81.0638    0.00126

The third column indicates the type of the error. 0 means nothing went wrong. Also, the output of the commands criorcc -c, status, rcc status, rcc gps and get mount position should be copied into a file.


After finishing observations, the RCC telescope can be shut down using the following commands. First, turn off the automatic dome tracking by

rcc dome manual

Then, stop the sidereal tracking using

set mount track off

Then, move the telescope into its home position:

rcc slew 0 47.8

This basic slew command expects an hour angle and a declination value, both in degrees. This position is hence the zenith at the latitude of the observatory.

The dome can be rotated to the flat position, then even the dome webcameras will clearly see the dome slit. The dome flat position corresponds to a slit position to somewhere northwest, more precisely,

set dome azimuth=156.3

The mirror cover, tube cover and dome slit can then be closed:

rcc mirrorcover close
rcc tubecover close
set dome slit close

Use the commands status and/or rcc status to ensure that everything has properly been closed.

Some notes

  • The above sequence can safely be re-ordered based on the needs of the observer and/or other conditions (e.g. weather, etc.)
  • It is recommended to close the mirror cover first, then the tube cover, then the dome slit.
  • Sometimes when the dome slit is closed, the RCC motion controller (CRIORCC) goes to an error state (see rcc status). This error prevents further slewing of the telescope. Use the command criorcc --clearerr twice in order to resolve this issue.
  • Use the interal dome webcameras to ensure that the dome slit is closed.
Personal tools