Useful information for observations: List of astronomical Target, Pako scripts, Real Time Analysis, Observing strategies

List of Astronomical Target for Nika November 2014 run10 = Open Pool2

FXD: First version (2 Nov 2014)

Back to the NIKA OP2/run10 page

The nominal NIKA frequencies for this run are 260 and 150 GHz (ie 1.15 and 2.00 mm).

References and results are written in this private page

1. Planets and Asteroids

Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune for photometric calibration (primary calibrators) and sky field-of-view geometry.

FluxMars NIKA1mm= 230.772 NIKA2mm= 77.7652

FluxUranus NIKA1mm= 42.9928 NIKA2mm= 18.0207

FluxNeptune NIKA1mm= 16.5436 NIKA2mm= 6.93438

Here are the ephemeris for all planets

The near and far sidelobes could be measured with Jupiter and Saturn.

MOON RA 07:14:50.5779 Dec 17:03:52.553 Az -134.55002 El -22.82794 Sun.D. 120.6 Vel. 0.045

SUN RA 15:07:24.8718 Dec -17:33:00.644 Az 84.63940 El -22.71966 Sun.D. 0.0 Vel. -0.393 SUN is within Sun avoidance ( 0.0 deg)

MERCURY RA 14:10:28.1623 Dec -11:13:40.212 Az 99.25574 El -30.43942 Sun.D. 15.2 Vel. 32.562

VENUS RA 15:25:48.7523 Dec -18:17:27.031 Az 81.37757 El -19.48715 Sun.D. 4.4 Vel. -1.506

MARS RA 18:53:43.1517 Dec -24:20:32.821 Az 44.94284 El 13.20044 Sun.D. 52.9 Vel. 8.120

JUPITER RA 09:36:15.7977 Dec 14:58:09.693 Az -169.80201 El -37.36777 Sun.D. 87.8 Vel. -27.115

SATURN RA 15:33:07.7411 Dec -17:11:01.654 Az 81.31497 El -17.42276 Sun.D. 6.1 Vel. 2.897

URANUS RA 00:49:43.8163 Dec 04:34:52.841 Az -58.23928 El 41.11010 Sun.D. 143.9 Vel. 17.706

NEPTUNE RA 22:27:42.9850 Dec -10:26:29.060 Az -5.97253 El 42.30363 Sun.D. 105.5 Vel. 28.863

2. Usual bright quasars

Pointing quasars

3. Secondary calibrators

Strong Sources

Here is IRAM old published report: Secondary Calibrators Lisenfeld report, and, more recent list updated till the end of the MAMBO pool in 2010: Secondary Calibrators MAMBO pool database.

Here is the full detailed formatted list Full list with fluxes, which translates to this .sou file for pako

Here is a list of IRAM pointing sources with fluxes at 3mm and 2mm (I miss fluxes at 1mm, SL) FluxForPointingSources

Interface with the telescope: PaKo

Short manual on useful "Pako for Nika" see on Granada computers on the NIKA directory Pako_helpv17.txt

- Pako scripts are in the Pako subdirectory

- Before starting the pointing session, we may be requested to move the azimuth by 60deg to reset the inclinometer of the az axis.

- Always stay at more that 1 deg from the Sun. There are internal safeties that prevent the antenna to point to the Sun, but we may not get error messages.

- try to get sources uniformly distributed on the sky, hence give priority to high elevation sources that are usually harder to reach.

- Do one focus at the beginning. No need to do more focus than one every 2-3hours.

The antenna can point between 60 and 460 degrees in azimuth, between 20 and 80 degrees in elevation.

- If a source is available both at low and high azimuth, use command SET TOPO LOW (or SET TOPO HIGH) to stay on the source without moving.

- The minimum number of sources to observe for the pointing model is 15. 30 is good enough.

- the pointing sources should be observed on 'short' period, e.g. 3-4 hours to avoid daily pointing variations

New PaKo features for NIKA to be tested (2014-11)


Hans Ungerechts


NIKA team & observers (sent via email)



Put in Wiki Moinmoin format:


to test these new features you have to start the PaKo test version in project t21 [or project nikas-14] on mrt-astro (!!!)

slogin t21@mrt-astro


slogin nikas-14@mrt-astro)


PAKO> show
I-SHOW,  paKo Revision v 1.2.3 2014-03-31 

PAKO> receiver /clear
PAKO> receiver bolo nika
PAKO> source Uranus

PAKO> limits 500 -500 -500 500
PAKO> greg1\set box match
PAKO> clear all
PAKO> box


Different types of Lissajous (focus, pointing, ...) can be identified by specific information in the NCS messages

Lissajous /Focus: maps at different focus positions done as subscans Lissajous /Focus uses the current focus as the reference value

Lissajous /Focus: maps at different focus positions done as subscans

PAKO> lissajous /default /tOtf 60 /focus -2 -1 0 1 2 Z

PAKO> lissajous /default /tOtf 60 /focus -1.5 0 1.5 X

PAKO> lissajous /default /tOtf 60 /focus +2.2 -2.2 0.0 Y

PAKO> lissajous /default /tOtf 60 /focus no

The values for the focus values set with SET FOCUS, the focus offsets in each subscan, and the focus direction are all in the pako/NCS XML file. ← contact HU if you need further information on this. In the NCS messages, Lissajous with /focus is distinguished from other lissajous by

<Data Name="observingMode">Lissajous</Data>
<Data Name="purpose">focus</Data>


<Notice LogId="scanInfo.overview" TimeStamp="2014-10-06T09:31:32.550" Process="" Host="mrt-lx1"><Data Name="observingMode">Lissajous</Data><Data Name="sourceName">Jupiter</Data><Data Name="rx.use">E090</Data><Data Name="job">3893</Data><Data Name="purpose">focus</Data><Data Name="switcher.nPhases">1</Data><Data Name="project">tt-ncs</Data><Data Name="scanId">2014-10-06.89</Data><Data Name="p4p5">11.56 -4.2 (124 min)</Data><Data Name="rx.E090.lineName">CS(2-1)</Data><Data Name="switcher.timePerRecord">0.1</Data><Data Name="comments">my remarks</Data><Data Name="queue">tt-ncs</Data><Data Name="switcher.nCycles">1</Data><Data Name="switcher.mode">totalPower</Data><Data Name="subscans">6</Data><Data Name="switcher.timePerPhase">0.1</Data></Notice> 1272.8

observingMode and purpose are also in the XML file

NOTE: of course, the parameters (amplitude etc.) for the Lissajous curves can be specified the usual way

Lissajous /Pointing: designate Lissajous to be for Pointing

PAKO> lissajous /pointing 

PAKO> lissajous /pointing no

In the NCS messages lissajous with /pointing is distinguished from other lissajous by

<Data Name="observingMode">Lissajous</Data>
<Data Name="purpose">pointing</Data>


<Notice LogId="scanInfo.overview" TimeStamp="2014-10-06T09:24:31.128" Process="" Host="mrt-lx1"><Data Name="observingMode">Lissajous</Data><Data Name="sourceName">Jupiter</Data><Data Name="rx.use">E090</Data><Data Name="job">3892</Data><Data Name="purpose">pointing</Data><Data Name="switcher.nPhases">1</Data><Data Name="project">tt-ncs</Data><Data Name="scanId">2014-10-06.88</Data><Data Name="p4p5">11.56 -4.2 (117 min)</Data><Data Name="rx.E090.lineName">CS(2-1)</Data><Data Name="switcher.timePerRecord">0.1</Data><Data Name="comments">my remarks</Data><Data Name="queue">tt-ncs</Data><Data Name="switcher.nCycles">1</Data><Data Name="switcher.mode">totalPower</Data><Data Name="subscans">2</Data><Data Name="switcher.timePerPhase">0.1</Data></Notice> 851.3

observingMode and purpose are also in the XML file

NOTE 1: the only effect of lissajous /pointing is to set "purpose" to "pointing" in the XML and messages

NOTE 2: if neither /focus nor /pointing is selected, "purpose" in XML is set to "map"

NOTE 3: -- TBD: -- include purpose in TAPAS

PAKO> set purpose map

allows to set "purpose" more generally, e.g., also for OTF maps.

PAKO> set purpose ""

clears (unsets) "purpose"


optional tune subscan as first subscan for observing modes: Lissajous, Otfmap, Pointing, Focus

 PAKO> lissajous /default /tune -22 33 /tTune 15 

PAKO> otfmap /def /ref no /tune 11 22 /tTune 12

PAKO> pointing /def /tune -200 0 /tTune 11

PAKO> focus /def /tune -200 0 /tTune 11

In all these 4 observing modes /tune NO turns the tune subscan off

DIY- Tip

special version of the source command to do the scan at the current azimuth

in scripts for DIY tips use a source command of the form:

SOURCE TipCurrentAzimuth HO 180 10       !!  "Source" at current azimuth
!                                        !!  elevation 10 [deg]

The special source name TipCurrentAzimuth indicates that for the execution of the scan the specified azimuth 180 [deg] will be replaced by the current azimuth.

OTFMAP short subscans

PAKO> otfmap /def /ref no /tOtf 5 


PAKO> set level 0 0
PAKO> lissajous /def
W-LISSAJOUS,  WARNING--CONDITION: Elevation must be less than 80.91 [deg] 

PAKO> set level 5 5
PAKO> lissajous /def

look-up tables for Nasmyth offsets of NIKA pixels

PAKO> set level 0 0
PAKO> offsets /clear

PAKO> receiver bolo nika 666

. . .
I-RECEIVER,  looking for Nasmyth offsets for NIKA pixel 666
I-RECEIVER,  try file NIKAkidOffsetA.config
I-RECEIVER,  could not open file NIKAkidOffsetA.config
I-RECEIVER,  try file NIKAkidOffsetB.config
I-RECEIVER,  could not open file NIKAkidOffsetB.config
I-RECEIVER,  try file /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver/NIKAkidOffsetA.config
I-RECEIVER,  opened file /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver/NIKAkidOffsetA.config
I-RECEIVER,  try file /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver/NIKAkidOffsetB.config
I-RECEIVER,  opened file /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver/NIKAkidOffsetB.config
I-RECEIVER,  found offsets for NIKA pixel 666 : 36.900 -27.600

PAKO> pointing /def
PAKO> start

PAKO> offsets 33 -44 /system Nasmyth
PAKO> start

NOTE 1: the sample configuration files NIKAkidOffsetA.config and NIKAkidOffsetB.config are based on those in the email from Xavier 2014-07-08

NOTE: NIKA configuration files / lookup tables

pako looks for configuration files first in its working directory, then in the global configuration directory /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver/

This means that pako tries to find the Nasmyth offsets in the file

Pako stops this search as soon as it finds offsets for the selected pixel. If there are no configurations files in its working directory, it uses only the configuration files in the global directory.

In the directory /ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver/:

tt-ncs@mrt-lx2:/ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver$ ls -l | grep NIKA 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 mrt1 mrt   26 Oct 23 14:05 NIKAkidOffsetA.config -> NIKAkidOffsetA-v0.1.config 
-rw-r--r-- 1 mrt1 mrt 3281 Oct 23 14:04 NIKAkidOffsetA-v0.1.config 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 mrt1 mrt   26 Oct 23 14:05 NIKAkidOffsetB.config -> NIKAkidOffsetB-v0.1.config 
-rw-r--r-- 1 mrt1 mrt 2863 Oct 23 14:04 NIKAkidOffsetB-v0.1.config 

This means that NIKAkidOffsetA.config and NIKAkidOffsetB.config are (symbolic) links to NIKAkidOffsetA-v0.1.config and NIKAkidOffsetB-v0.1.config

Changes / updates to the global configuration files should be made in coordination with IRAM staff (computer group, WB).

All NIKA .config files are under RCS:

tt-ncs@mrt-lx2:/ncsServer/mrt/ncs/configuration/receiver$ ls -l RCS/ | grep NIKA 
-r--r--r-- 1 mrt1 mrt 3476 Oct 27 10:04 NIKAkidOffsetA.config,v 
-r--r--r-- 1 mrt1 mrt 3462 Oct 27 10:10 NIKAkidOffsetA-v0.1.config,v 
-r--r--r-- 1 mrt1 mrt 3058 Oct 27 10:04 NIKAkidOffsetB.config,v 
-r--r--r-- 1 mrt1 mrt 3044 Oct 27 10:10 NIKAkidOffsetB-v0.1.config,v 

NOTE: selected known minor items remaining to be improved

ListOfAstroTarget2014N10 (last edited 2014-11-06 16:27:06 by NikaBolometer)