Our New Software for the ESA-Dresden Radio Telescope

Joachim Köppen Kiel/Strasbourg 2009

Overview This new software is written in Java, and is fully operational. This page gives a brief description of its features and provides details about its reactions ...

How to start

This is not a complete tutorial, but rather a brief summary of the steps to make a simple solar drift scan observation:

You'll notice that colours are employed as signals in the Buttons or Fields. They have these meanings:

The Operations Page

This is the main page of the software, and thus seems to have a frightning number of controls ... It shows a simulated drift scan observation of the Sun, preceeded by a flux calibration. The structure of this page is quite simple:

The SkyView Page

This page gives a view of the sky as it would appear if we looked down on our observing station. It shows

The Spectrum Page

This page permits to obtain a spectrum of a source at the current position. In the above image I have superposed a real spectrum taken of the Astra 1 satellite, whihc took about 1 hour. The controls of this page are

The Scan Page

This page permits to perform a stepped scan from one position to another. Since both azimuth and elevation are stepped in a corresponding way, the path across the sky is not necessarily a great circle! However due to the finite accuracy and stability of the rotator system, this feature cannot work in a fully satisfactory way!. This screenshot shows a simulated scan in horizontal direction across the Moon. It also shows how faint the Moon is, which makes it difficult to observe ... in reality, it is even harder, because of clouds and changing sky background. The controls of this page are

The Map Page

This page allows to make maps or images of the sky. However due to the finite accuracy and stability of the rotator system, this feature cannot work in a satisfactory way!. Here is shown a simulated image of the Sun. The controls are

The Position Calibration Page

From here, we can inspect the correspondence of the true sky positions with 'our' coordinates, which are the ones with which the rotator controller works. Since our telescope has been placed on the roof without going through a laborious procedure to align it accurately to the true north, we use the positions of geostationary television satellites to do this alignment by software, as explained here. This is how to do it:

The Settings Page

This page is normally without any importance to the observer, but it may be useful when one needs to check the state of the program. It shows all the parameters that are read from the initialization file edtini.txt at the start of the program and written to it when exited. One may change the settings, and store them for the next startup. Some comments:

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last update: 1 April 2009 J.Köppen