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The Camera Control Window is the main window for controlling individual exposures, setting the object name and filter, and running simple macros. These macros usually include automated telescope offsets between exposures to either dither or chop to sky. The top of this GUI provides the current Sidereal and UT time.



Figure 7: Main PANIC Control Window


All observations should be obtained with Readmode Double (or more endpoints), although the remaining parameters may be changed as needed during the course of the night. More endpoints, which work well with longer exposures, help to alleviate the pattern noise present on the detector, although they have more overhead. Longer integrations (with higher sky background) also serve to minimize the relative contribution of the pattern noise and are more efficient than multiple endpoint sampling. We therefore recommend longer individual integrations to increase the sky background, rather than multiple endpoints, to alleviate the pattern noise.


The top panel of this the Camera Control Window includes options for setting the exposure time, object name, and the two filters. There are focus offsets between the different filters and these focus changes have to be input by the telescope operator. It is imporant to tell the telescope operator when you are changing filters so that the telescope focus can be set to the proper value.


To take an individual or series of exposure without moving the telescope, simply press the Go buttom, where the number of exposures obtained corresponds to the number of Loops listed. The object name and file number can also be set in this panel. All filenames are prefixed with irp and then have a running index. The first image of the night or a run may take the form: irp_00001_001.fits. Unless you keep a running index throughout your run, there is a danger of overwriting files from previous nights. This can be avoided by creating separate directories for each night. The data directory is set by selecting DataPath from the Options pull-down menu. Make sure the directory exists before starting to take data to avoid an error.


The bottom panel is used to run macros, sequences of observations intermixed with telescope offsets. There are several predefined macro sequences, which are described in the next section. Macros are then started with the Execute button, while the Go button only takes a single exposure.


Individual telescope offsets can be controlled with the Telescope Control GUI.



Figure 8: Telescope Control GUI


The top panel of the Telescope Control GUI displays the Sidereal Time, Airmass, and UT, while the middle panel is used to send specific RA and DEC coordinates to the operator, as well as to read the current telescope position. The bottom panel can be used for individual offsets, essentially to run the equivalent of a macro by hand. To do guided offsets, set the telescope offsets pulldown menu to T+G. The T-only mode, shown in the figure, will not move the guider. This only applies to individual telescope offsets and not to macros.


From the Telescope GUI you can open two additional, useful GUIs. From the File pulldown menu, select SkyMap and Airmass to open these two tools. SkyMap displays the PANIC field of view (dotted square) and nearby, bright stars and the Airmass GUI shows the airmass of the current object as a function of UT.


The most efficient way to supply object coordinates to the telescope operator is to prepare an object catalog. See the instructions on Creating observing catalogs for more information.


To obtain images with North/South up/down: Set the rotator offset to EQU 44.7. The telescope should be set to Mode 2 (rotator).


A final, useful tool is the Display GUI, which is opened from the Camera-Control GUI. This can be set to always display the last image written to disk by selecting Autoload in the Options pull-down menu. This GUI will also display cursor values and perform simple statistics when the cursor is moved across the image.

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