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ASPRO 2 User Manual





Date: March 17th 2021

Authors:

  • Laurent BOURGES — JMMC / IPAG
  • Gilles DUVERT — JMMC / IPAG

Updates in progress ...

Revisions:

  • ASPRO 2 software version 21.03 (March 2021): Updated noise modelling parameters for MATISSE + improved OIFITS generation (noisy observables)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 20.03 (March 2020): Updated noise modelling parameters for MATISSE (GRA4MAT, high resolution) + ObsPortal integration to query raw VLTI observations
  • ASPRO 2 software version 19.09 (September 2019): Fixed noise modelling parameters for MATISSE LM & N (matching the MATISSE ETC) + image apodization + many smaller improvements...
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9.6 (March 2019): Improved AO setup (added VLTI CIAO + NAOMI) ...
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9.5 (September 2018): Improved noise modelling for MATISSE, user models (scaling / rotation) and enhanced Target Editor (FT/AO/GUIDE groups)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9.4 (March 2018): Improved noise modelling for MATISSE (thermal background)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9.3 (September 2017): Added A2P2 (xml) integration and OIFits processor (CLI)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9.2 (March 2017): minor changes to OIFits viewer (consistent colors) and bug fixes
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9.1 (September 2016): updated VLTI configuration for GRAVITY and MATISSE and improvements on the OIFits simulator
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.9 (March 2016): updated VLTI configuration (ESO telescope shadowing profiles, GRAVITY) and several improvements (mean atmosphere transmission, noise modelling and upgraded OIFits viewer)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.8 (September 2015): updated VLTI configuration and several improvements (OB export, noise modelling)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.7 (March 2015): updated VLTI & CHARA configuration and several minor changes
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.5 (September 2013): updated the embedded OIFits explorer (customizable plots), updated VLTI, CHARA VEGA configuration and bug fixes
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.4 (March 2013): added polychromatic user-defined model support (FITS cube) and many GUI changes
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.3 (October 2012): updated CHARA VEGA configuration and bug fixes
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.2 (September 2012): added moon avoidance, wind restriction, enhanced OIFits viewer
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.1 (June 2012): bug fixes and many minor changes (Simbad mirrors, Samp interoperability, configuration ...)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.9.0 (March 2012): added user-defined model support (FITS image)
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.8.1 (September 2011): updated configuration (VLTI P89, CHARA VEGA and MIRC), added VIS2 plot
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.8 (March 2011): added multi configuration support to have an overview of UV coverages of one source observed with different configurations
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.7 (February 2011): added Target editor / calibrator support / interoperability with LITpro and SearchCal
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.6 (September 2010): added OIFits support
  • ASPRO 2 software version 0.5 (June 2010).

Here are the release notes.

Description

This document will give general information on the new version of ASPRO named "ASPRO 2" to constitute the "ASPRO 2 User Manual".

ASPRO 2 is a Java standalone program that helps you to prepare observations on various optical interferometers.

Supported interferometers and instruments

  • VLTI (Period 84 - 108)
    • MIDI (2T) until Period 94
    • AMBER (3T) until Period 101
    • PIONIER (4T) starting from Period 86
    • GRAVITY (4T) starting from Period 98, (GRAVITY_FT to check the fringe tracker ability to track faint or unresolved targets)
    • MATISSE (4T) starting from Period 103, (MATISSE_LM & MATISSE_N to describe the internal L/M & N instruments)
  • VLTI (Future Period) for experimental instruments
    • GRAVITY (4T) with more configurations (commissioning & relocation)
    • MATISSE (4T) with more configurations (commissioning & relocation)
  • CHARA
    • CLASSIC (2T)
    • CLIMB (3T)
    • FRIEND (2T, 3T)
    • JOUFLU (2T)
    • MIRC (4T, 5T, 6T)
    • MIRCX (4T, 5T, 6T)
    • PAVO (2T, 3T)
    • VEGA (2T, 3T, 4T)
  • CHARA (Future Period) for experimental instruments
    • SPICA (6T)
  • SUSI
    • PAVO (2T)
  • NPOI (preliminary / beta support)
    • CLASSIC (4T)
    • VISION (4T, 5T, 6T)
  • DEMO (demo interferometer and instruments for VLTI schools)

Several xml configuration files are provided as the ASPRO 2 Configuration package and can evolve in future releases.

Public ASPRO 2 configuration description is available: Latest Aspro Configuration

Please give us your feedback if you want other interferometers or instruments to be supported or if you find mistakes in the configuration: we are trying to maintain the configuration as exact as possible but it is really difficult to have the correct information about instruments ...

Notes
ASPRO 2 started by Java Web Start always uses the latest ASPRO 2 Configuration package (automatic updates require an internet connection).
If you download and launch the Aspro2.jar file, then ASPRO 2 will use its embedded ASPRO 2 Configuration package that can be older than the latest available.

Please use the Help menu / Configuration Release notes action to see the release notes of the ASPRO 2 Configuration package in use.

Main functionalities

  • Dynamic User Interface: any change made on GUI widgets is taken into account on plots immediately
  • Load / Save an observation file: allows the user to save his work at any moment. The xml file produced can be reopened later (for off-line use, for example), and is convenient to save all information relative to a list of targets, which can be sent to collaborators, observers at the interferometer, etc...
  • Interferometer sketch: display base lines of the selected configuration(s)
  • Observability plot: represents time intervals when the source can be observed with transit and elevation marks, night and twilight zones, delay line compensation for the selected base lines, (best) PoPs (CHARA), telescope shadowing (VLTI) and zenithal restriction, pointing restrictions due to the moon avoidance and the wind direction
  • UV Coverage plot: shows projected base lines on the UV plan and an image of the source model to see the UV coverage of the source
  • OIFits viewer: provides several OIFits data plots (square visibility and closure phase vs spatial frequency ...) including error bars and spectral dispersion
  • Multi configuration support to have an overview of UV coverages of one source observed with different configurations
  • Target editor: show complete target information, edit missing target magnitudes and associate calibrators to your science targets
  • Model editor: each source can have its own object model composed of several elementary models (punct, disk, ring, gaussian, limb darkened disk ...) or an user-defined model (FITS image)
  • Interoperability using SAMP (VO protocol):
    • Import targets from VO tools like Simbad, ViZier, Topcat using VOTable format (version 1.1 and 1.2)
    • SearchCal to search calibrators for your science target(s)
    • LITpro to prepare your model fitting using generated OIFits file(s) and the object model of your current target
    • OIFits Explorer or OImaging to prepare your data processing
    • A2P2 to submit your Observing Blocks directly into ESO P2 tool
  • Observing Blocks can be generated:
    • for VLTI instruments to be imported in the ESO P2 tool (OBX import) (deprecated)
    • for the CHARA VEGA instrument using the Star list format (deprecated)
  • OIFits file generation with error and noise modelling
  • OIFitsExplorer and OImaging integration to plot your simulated observation data and perform image reconstructions
  • Export (/Print): every plot can be exported as either a PNG image or a PDF document. Of course the PDF output is better as it uses vector based graphics and any PDF reader can print it correctly: no "Print" action available, please print the PDF document using your favorite PDF viewer!
  • Standard JMMC actions: feedback report, news, release notes and FAQ

Future improvements

  • Better large target list handling (groups, observed HA ranges, filtering)
  • Enhanced OIFits explorer & OIFits 2 support

Requirements

  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 8 or newer: Java 8 (OpenJDK) is recommended (security fixes + Long Term Support)
  • any PDF reader to display and print any exported plot
  • Internet connection to resolve star identifiers using the CDS Simbad service

Notes

How to get and run ASPRO 2 ?

The easiest way consists in using the JMMC AppLauncher application which is able to run JMMC applications (Aspro 2, SearchCal, LITpro) and other VO tools when needed (relying on Java Web Start to start applications).

An internet connection is required to use Java Web Start and get the latest release: ASPRO 2. Of course, both Java Web Start and ASPRO 2 support offline mode i.e. ASPRO 2 can work without any internet connection.

Once downloaded, you should have a shortcut icon "Aspro 2" on your desktop:
ASPRO 2 Icon

Alternatively you can start it again later using the Java Web Start Viewer and click on "Aspro 2":

javaws -viewer

If Java Web Start is not working properly on your environment or if ASPRO 2 needs more memory (1024m by default), you can download the ASPRO 2 (JAR file) and run ASPRO 2 using the following command:

java -Xms256m -Xmx1024m -jar Aspro2-Version.jar
where:
  • Xms: gives the minimum heap memory size (256 mb)
  • Xmx: gives the maximum heap memory size (1024 mb)

Note
Look at the memory monitor in the status bar to know how much memory is available (depending on the loaded user models) and potentially clean up memory (garbage collection) by clicking on the memory's progress bar.

Look at the JMMC application page to see the complete list of JMMC applications with related links to news, release notes and FAQs...

Note
You can run multiple instances of ASPRO 2 at the same time, but it may be confusing when you want to use interoperability with other applications: take care of the SAMP client id reported in the title bar to properly identify the appropriate application instance.

Acknowledgement

If this software was helpful in your research, please add this sentence in the acknowledgement section of your articles, as it will support further development of new tools for interferometry:
This research has made use of the Jean-Marie Mariotti Center
\texttt{Aspro2} service \footnote{Available at http://www.jmmc.fr/aspro}.

ASPRO 2 depends on many open source libraries including these important astronomical / VO libraries:

  • JSkyCalc
    Observability constraints and sky display based on JSkyCalc by J. R. Thorstensen, Dartmouth College
  • nom.tam.fits
    The Java FITS library (nom.tam.fits) has been developed which provides efficient I/O for FITS images and binary tables. Made by Dr Thomas A. McGlynn, HEASARC
  • JSAMP
    JSAMP is a Java toolkit for use with the Simple Applications Messaging Protocol. Made by Mark Taylor, Bristol University

The exhaustive list of open source libraries is available: view credits

Guided tour

How to run a simple preparation scenario ?
  1. Launch ASPRO 2
  2. Set the main observation settings (interferometer, instrument, configuration ...) and constraints (date ...)
  3. Enter your observation targets using the the Simbad star resolver
  4. Navigate among tab panels to see outputs and other options

To complete your observation preparation, you can:

  • use the Target Editor to define your object models, edit missing magnitudes and calibrators manually if needed
  • or use SearchCal to find calibrators automatically
  • export to PDF documents, Observing Blocks or OIFits files ...

Of course you can save your complete observation settings using the File menu / Save action to open it later using the File menu / Open observation action.
Besides the File / Open Recent menu lists up to 10 recent observation settings to quickly open any of them.

Notes
On every plot panel, you can use the File menu / Export plot to PDF action to export i t as a PDF document (and print it).
Alternatively you can export the plot as a PNG image by using the plot context menu (right mouse click) and choose the Save As action.

Plots are zoomable using the mouse wheel or making mouse gestures: top left to bottom right to zoom in, right to left to reset the zoom.

Main observation settings

The main panel is always present at the top of the application window to let you define main observation settings:
Main Panel

This panel is divided in four parts:

  • Targets: add / remove / edit your targets
  • Main settings: define main settings (interferometer, instrument ...)
  • Configuration(s): select one or more configurations (base lines)
  • Constraints: define less important settings (date, night restriction ...)

Note
Any change made to these fields will be taken into account immediately on plots

Target definition

To add a new target in the target list, the simplest way consist in typing its identifier (name) in the Simbad star resolver and press the Enter key to get its coordinates and other information using the CDS Simbad service.

An error can occur if the target identifier is not present in Simbad or if ASPRO 2 can not access to internet (proxy or firewall problems).

If Simbad returns multiple matches for a given identifier, the following error message is displayed:

"Multiple objects found (please refine your query):
'uy': [ NAME UY Aur A, NAME UY Aur B ]"

To add multiple targets at once, enter their identifiers separated by ';' (semicolon character) in the star resolver or copy / paste your target list (one identifier per line). Of course, the Simbad query takes more time to proceed then a summary of the query results is displayed.

Note
the Simbad star resolver uses several Simbad mirrors (France, USA and their corresponding fixed IP addresses) automatically if any error occurs. However, you can select your preferred Simbad mirror by clicking on the small arrow and choosing it in the context menu.
If needed, click on the [x] button to interrupt the Simbad query

If you are off line, you can enter manually a new target by giving its RA / DEC coordinates and an optional name using the following format:

HH:MM:SS.ms [+/-]DD:MM:SS.ms [target name]
04:00:00 -20:00:00 TEST

To avoid possible target duplicates (different identifiers used), a new target cannot be added to the target list if it contains a target within 5 arcseconds (angular separation). In such case, the following message is displayed: Target[A](ra, dec) too close to Target[B](ra, dec): ... arcsec.

Note
As a convention, we will use the terms "science target" [science target] and "calibrator target" [calibrator target] in this document. ASPRO 2 uses icons to represent this distinction in the graphical user interface and calibrator targets are displayed with the suffix "(cal)".

The target list contains both science targets and calibrator targets. It uses the following rules to order targets:

  • science targets followed by their calibrator targets
  • orphan calibrator targets (if any) at the end

To flag a target as a calibrator target, click on the Editor button to open the Target Editor window and use the Targets tabbed pane or use SearchCal to find calibrators automatically.

To remove target(s) from the target list, select first the target(s) in the list, use the small "X" button and confirm the operation.
If the selected target is a:

  • science target, its associated calibrators are not removed automatically
  • calibrator target, it is also removed automatically from every calibrator list of your science targets

Notes
Pointing a target with your mouse displays a tooltip containing the target information (coordinates, proper motion, parallax, object and spectral types and known magnitudes).
Selecting a target in the target list or clicking on a target on the observability plot updates the selected target and refreshes Observability, UV coverage and OIFits viewer plots.

ASPRO 2 supports an object model per target in contrary to ASPRO. It defines either a simple analytical model to describe the geometry of the target composed of elementary models (punct, disk, ring ...) or an user-defined model based on one given FITS image.

To edit any object model of your targets, click on the Editor button to open the Target Editor window and use the Models tabbed pane.

Finally click on the sky button to open the JSkyCalc tool and synchronize your observation:

  • observatory location
  • target list (science and calibrator targets)
  • date and time set to 20:00 Local time (i.e. at the beginning of the night)

Note
you can use the Edit menu / Find action (Previous / Next) to find and select a target in the target list by matching patterns on its name

Main settings

This panel let you define your main settings:
  • Select the Interferometer (VLTI, CHARA ...)
  • Select the observation Period (VLTI / CHARA only)
  • Select the Instrument among available instruments for the selected interferometer (and period)
  • PoPs (Pipes Of Pan) configuration (CHARA only):
    • the text field let you define a specific PoPs combination (PoP 1 to 5) by giving the list of PoP number in the same order than stations of the selected base line
      If you leave this field blank, ASPRO 2 will determine "best PoP" combinations maximizing the observability of your complete list of targets
      For example:
      • VEGA_2T with baseline " S1 S2", "34" means PoP3 on S1 and PoP4 on S2
      • MIRC (4T) with baseline "S1 S2 E1 W2", "1255" means PoP1 on S1, PoP2 on S2 and Pop5 on E1 and W2
    • the combo box indicates if the current PoP combination is "Manual" (user defined) or "Auto" (best PoPs algorithm) and contains first best PoP combinations followed by up to 15 good PoP combinations (descending order). If you select one of its PoP combinations, the text field is updated and the observability is computed to let you see the impact of this specific PoP combination.

Configuration(s)

This panel let you choose one or more base line configurations in the configuration list which contains only available base lines for the selected instrument (and period for VLTI).

To select several configurations, use the Control key or Command key (mac) before clicking on one configuration.

Note
As a convention, we will use the terms "single configuration" when only one configuration is selected and "multi configuration" when more configurations are selected.

See the Multi configuration support topic for more information.

Constraints

The Night restriction check box is useful to use or not night limits in the observability computation for a particular observation date. If disabled, it gives the largest observability intervals to see when the target is observable during the year.

An observation Date must be defined to determine the coming astronomical night and twilight zones used by the observability computation. The date syntax uses the English format i.e. "YYYY/MM/DD".

For a given date, ASPRO2 determines the coming night range(s) in the [DD; DD+1] range; for example the given date '2014/4/4' corresponds to the night between April 4th and 5th.

The Minimum elevation must be given in degrees (45 degrees by default) to respect observation constraints on telescopes (at least 30 degrees).

Finally the Wind check box can be used during VLTI observations (on site) to define the wind direction used to determine the correct observability due to VLTI pointing restrictions.

Notes
The default minimum elevation can be defined in the Preferences Window.
ASPRO2 interprets the given date to determine the coming astronomical night in the [DD; DD+1] range.

Status indicator

The status (OK, Information or Warning) gives you the feedback on underlying computations: observability, UV coverage, OIFits data simulation (VIS, VIS2, T3) and noise modelling.
Pointing the Information or Warning indicator with your mouse displays a tooltip containing status messages:
  • Observability:
    • info: (loaded obs. setup: ...)
    • info: Baseline: ... - Beams: ... - PoPs: ... - Delaylines: ...
    • info: The target [...] is not observable
    • info: The target [...] is not observable (never rise)
    • info: Target [...] is [not / partially] observable [HA or Moon or Wind restrictions]
    • info: Equivalent Best PoPs found: (PoPs combinations) ...
    • info: Next good PoPs: (up to 15 PoPs combinations) ...
    • warning: Daylight Saving Time (DST) transition: observability ranges may appear shorter / longer !
    • warning: Impossible to find a PoPs combination compatible with any observable target
    • warning: Impossible to find a PoPs combination compatible with all observable targets (... / ...)
    • warning: Moon separation is ... deg at HH:MM for target [...] Please check pointing restrictions
    • warning: Pupil correction problem: VCM > [2.5|2.75|3.0] bar pressure limit exceeded.
  • UV coverage:
    • warning: Check your HA min/max settings. There is no observable HA
    • warning: Too many HA points (...), check your sampling periodicity. Only 500 samples computed
    • warning: Multiple configurations cannot be done in one night (night restrictions are only valid for YYYY/MM/DD)
    • warning: User model [...] is disabled
  • OIFits data simulation:
    • info: ... instrument mode: ... channels [... - ... Ám] (band: ... Ám)
    • info: User model [...]: ... images [... - ... Ám] (increment: ... Ám)
    • warning: OIFits data not available
    • warning: OIFits data computation is disabled
    • warning: User model (Fits image) wavelength (... Ám) outside of instrumental wavelength range
    • warning: User model (Fits cube) without wavelength information is discarded
    • warning: Incorrect model min wavelength [... Ám] higher than max instrument wavelength [... Ám]
    • warning: Incorrect model max wavelength [... Ám] lower than min instrument wavelength [... Ám]
    • warning: Incorrect model wavelength range [... - ... Ám] smaller than the typical instrumental wavelength band [... - ... Ám]
    • warning: Sub sampling detected: ... channels but only ... user model images available
    • warning: Restricted instrument mode: ... channels [... - ... Ám]
  • Noise modelling:
    • info: Min O.B. time: ... s (... min) on acquisition - Ratio Interferometry: ... %
    • info: Observation can take advantage of FT. Adjusting DIT to: ...
    • info: Observation can take advantage of FT (Group track).
    • info: Observation without FT. DIT set to: ...
    • info: AO setup: ... in ... band
    • info: FT associated to target [...]: ... mag
    • info: AO associated to target [...]: ... mag
    • warning: Missing photometry on target [...] in following bands: ... [instrument / fringe tracker / adaptive optics bands]
    • warning: Missing photometry on FT target [...] in following bands: ... [fringe tracker band]
    • warning: Missing photometry on AO target [...] in following bands: ... [adaptive optics band]
    • warning: DIT too long (saturation). Adjusting it to (possibly impossible): ...
    • warning: Observation can not use FT (magnitude limit or saturation)
    • warning: Observation can not use AO (magnitude limit = ...) in ... band
    • warning: Detector can not be read completely within 1 DIT: the wavelength range is restricted to ... Ám

Note
clicking on the status opens the ASPRO 2 Log Console which displays the complete history of status messages

Interferometer sketch (Map tab)

This zoomable plot shows the selected interferometer with all stations and selected base lines. Selected base lines are indicated with their lengths in the legend area.
Interferometer sketch

Observability tab

This zoomable plot shows the observability intervals per target expressed in LST, UTC or Local time for the chosen observation date.

A diamond mark indicates the transit of the target and graduation marks indicate the azimuth (on top: 0 means North, 90 means East...) and elevation (on bottom) of the target in degrees along the observability range.

If the night restriction is enabled, night and twilight zones for the chosen observation date are displayed in the background, used by the observability computation and the maximum FLI (Fractional Lunar Illumination) for this night is indicated in the chart title.

If your observation date corresponds to the current night, a red time line indicating the time is displayed and refreshed every minute.

Several plot options are available in this case:

  • the plot is centered (by default) around night
  • Use the Night only check box to display only the night (by default)
  • Use the Scroll view check box to adjust displayed targets:
    • If enabled, only few targets are displayed and the plot is scrollable (mousewheel supported) but the exported PDF always contains all targets (multiple page if necessary)
    • If disabled, all targets are displayed and the plot can be zoomed in / out (mouse) but the exported PDF document contains targets as displayed (single page only)
  • Use the Filters to show / hide targets:
    • Hide calibrators: hide all targets flagged as calibrator and orphaned calibrators
    • Hide unobservable: hide all targets that are not observable or never rise
    • Use the Show related check box (enabled by default) to show / hide the science and calibrator targets related to the selected target even if those targets are filtered

Note
The default time reference (LST, UTC or Local), Center plot around night, Night only options and the Twilight used as night limit (astronomical, nautical or civil) can be defined in the Preferences Window.

Target observability takes into account:

  • night limit for the observation date (if enabled)
  • chosen minimum elevation
  • delay line compensation for selected base lines
  • CHARA'S Pipes Of Pan (PoPs), detailed below
  • telescope shadowing (VLTI)
  • zenithal restriction
  • optional constraints (hints):
    • HA constraints, defined in the UV coverage panel
    • moon avoidance, detailed below
    • wind direction (VLTI), detailed below (if enabled)
    • VLTI constraints related to the Variable Curvature Mirror (VCM) pressure limit to 2.5 bar (before ESO Period 96): this constraint indicates that the pupil may be not well corrected (flux / FoV loss) and is represented by several pressure thresholds (2.5, 2.75 and 3.0 bar) as darkened areas on the target observability and indicated in its tooltip.

Note
the impact of optional constraints (HA, moon avoidance and wind restriction) on the target observability is displayed using a translucent area and dotted outline.

Colors are automatically associated to targets and their meaning is described in the legend area: (Science / Calibrator or configuration).

The selected target in the main target list is represented highlighted using a gradient (white to 'color') and the observability plot is automatically updated when the selected target changes.

Observability plot

Notes
Clicking on a target on the observability plot updates the selected target in the target list and refreshes Observability, UV coverage and OIFits viewer plots.
Pointing an observability interval with your mouse displays a tooltip containing interval information (start, end and transit time with their corresponding hour angle, azimuth and elevation), target information (name, coordinates and known magnitudes) and target notes if present (indicated by [i] in the target name).
In case you have many targets, use the vertical scrollbar (or mouse wheel) to navigate among your targets when the Scroll view check box is checked; otherwise, all targets are displayed and use your mouse to zoom in / out..
You can use the Edit menu / Find action (Previous / Next) to find and select a target in the target list and find it on the observability plot.
You can sort your targets by their right ascension or manually in the Target Editor.
Please set correctly your date / time settings on your machine (operating system) to let the time marker work properly.

To have more details on the PoPs configuration and best PoPs algorithms, you can:

ASPRO 2 finds the best PoPs combination for the complete target list and is indicated in the plot title, status indicator messages when the small PoPs text widget is void, as in the following image:
Automatic PoPs

You can use the PoPs combo box to see best PoP combinations followed by up to 15 good PoP combinations (descending order) and select one to see its impact on the observability of your complete target list.

One can force ASPRO 2 to use another PoPs combination by entering a valid PoPs code in the PoPs text widget, as in the following image:

User PoPs

The best PoPs algorithm has two different behaviour depending on your target list:

  • single target: the best PoPs corresponds to the PoP combination maximizing the total observability interval (sum of each observability interval).
  • multiple targets: the best PoPs corresponds to a different solution: it uses an estimator that tries to maximize both total observability interval and longest minimal observability interval among all targets in order to be able to observe all targets = a PoP combination giving better observability for a subset of targets can be discarded if it leads to unobservable target(s).

The best PoPs algorithm takes only into account (for performance reasons):

  • night limit for the observation date (if enabled)
  • chosen minimum elevation (rise/set interval)
  • delay line compensation for selected base lines
  • HA constraints (not in the Simple algorithm)

Finally, the best PoPs algorithm has several variants:

  • Simple (former algorithm used until ASPRO 2 0.9.4 release)
  • Transit: maximizes the observability interval arround transit
  • HALimits: maximizes the observability interval within HA constraints(lower and upper hour angle)

Both Transit and HALimits variants use a normal law estimator (mean, standard deviation).

Several options can be defined in the Preferences Window:

  • Best Pops algorithm among variants: Simple, Transit, HALimits
  • Gaussian sigma (Transit and HALimits only) to adjust the selectivity of the normal law (transit or HA range confidence)
  • Average weight % Min to adjust the importance of the shortest observability interval (min) compared to the average observability interval for your complete target list

To have more details on the observability computation, you can:

Observability detailed plot

The detailed observability plot shows each target multiple times (look at the legend area) to illustrate different aspects:

  • Rise/Set intervals indicate when the target is above the chosen minimum elevation and respects the night restriction (if enabled)
  • Horizon intervals indicate when the target is not affected by shadowing restrictions (VLTI) and zenithal restriction
  • Moon Separation intervals indicate when the target is not affected by moon avoidance
  • Wind intervals indicate when the target is not affected by pointing restrictions due to the wind direction (azimuth)
  • Individual Base line intervals indicate when delay lines can compensate the optical path difference between two stations

To see the base line limits for the selected configuration, you can:

BaseLine Limits plot

This plot is useful to see telescope shadowing restrictions for the selected base lines on the VLTI and also the zenithal restriction.

To have more details on the moon avoidance, you can:

ASPRO 2 determine the moon separation with every target during the rise / set interval only.

Here are the rules for each interferometer:

  • CHARA and SUSI: moon separation > 5 degrees
  • VLTI: moon separation > 1 degrees
    • UTs: if the FLI is > 85%,
      • moon separation > 10 degrees if the V flux < 9.0 mag
      • moon separation > 20 degrees if the V flux > 9.0 mag
    • ATs: if the FLI is > 95%,
      • moon separation > 3 degrees if the R flux < 9.0 mag
      • moon separation > 5 degrees if the R flux > 9.0 mag

On the following screen shot, the target ETA TAU is not observable because it is too close to the moon (~ 2.1 deg) at this particular date (2015/10/28).

Observability plot with moon avoidance

To have more details on entering the VLTI wind direction, you can:

When the Wind check box is enabled (night restriction should be enabled first), the compass widget is also enabled to let you enter the wind direction represented by the red arrow.

Observability plot with wind pointing restrictions

On this screen shot, the wind direction is set to North - East (60 deg) and the target HD 1234 is impacted (telescopes can not be pointed to South - West).

Here is the detailed observability plot in this case when the Details check box is then enabled:

Observability detailed plot with wind pointing restrictions

The observability interval related to Wind pointing restriction is represented in cyan color and is the limiting effect on the target HD 1234.

UV coverage tab

This zoomable plot shows the UV coverage for the target selected in the target list of the main panel.

An optional image of the target object model is displayed on the background which represents the amplitude, square amplitude, phase of the Fourier transform of the target model and its color scale (linear or logarithmic) is displayed on the left side. You can use the Add error noise to image in the Preferences Window to perform noise modelling (VIS or VIS2) and add error noise to the model image.

It can show UV tracks per base line given by the Rise / Set intervals only to see the largest elliptical paths supporting UV measurements.

UV measurements are represented by UV segments as the spectral resolution is simulated for the selected Instrument mode (wavelength range).

If your observation date corresponds to the current night, red segments indicating current UV measurements and the LST (or UTC) time are displayed and refreshed every minute.

These UV measurements are using the observability range of the target expressed in hour angle displayed near the HA min and HA max sliders and the Sampling Periodicity in minutes (default value depending on the chosen instrument). Besides, these hour angle fields are useful to adjust the starting and ending hour angles of the simulated observation.

Important actions:

  • Export to OIFits: Observables (VIS, VIS2, T3) are simulated with error and noise modelling (if enabled) and can be exported to an OIFits file using the File menu / Export to OIFits file(s) action or in multi configuration mode to several OIFits files (1 per configuration).
  • Export to Observing blocks (deprecated):
    • For VLTI observations, Observing blocks compatible with ESO P2PP & P2 tools can be generated for the selected target and its calibrators using the File menu / Export to an Observing Block action or for the all targets using the File menu / Export targets as Observing Blocks action.
    • For CHARA observations on the VEGA instrument only, a Star List file compatible with the VEGA_PLAN / PIVOT tool can be generated using the File menu / Export to an Observing Block action.

On the following screen shot, the object model is an elliptical uniform disk which visibility amplitude is converted using a linear scale: 0.0 is indicated in black and the maximum (1.0 because fluxes are normalized) in white.

UV Coverage plot

Notes
Pointing an UV segment with your mouse displays a tooltip containing the information (configuration, baseline, current time / hour angle, UV radius and position angle).
The model image resolution (256 x 256 up to 2048 x 2048), its color table (LUT) and color scale (linear or logarithmic) can be chosen in the Preferences Window.
Null values (zero) are always represented in black whatever the color table (LUT) is.

On the left side, many options are proposed:

  • Instrument mode: the proposed choices depend on the selected instrument, corresponding to the different offered combinations [beam combiner, spectrograph (Prism or Grism), spectral resolution (High, Medium or Low), wavelength range]
  • AO setup (VLTI): this gives the offered configurations of the Adaptive Optics (MACAO or CIAO on UTs, STRAP or NAOMI on ATs), used by the error / noise modelling to compute the Strehl ratio in the AO band
  • Atmosphere quality: used by the error / noise modelling, it represents the following sky conditions (followed by the percentage of night time according to the ESO at Paranal Observatory):
    • EXCELLENT: Seeing < 0.6 arcsec, t0 > 5.2 ms (10%)
    • GOOD: Seeing < 0.7 arcsec, t0 > 4.4 ms (20%)
    • AVERAGE: Seeing < 1.0 arcsec, t0 > 3.2 ms (50%)
    • WORSE: Seeing < 1.15 arcsec, t0 > 2.2 ms (70%)
    • BAD: Seeing < 1.4 arcsec, t0 > 1.6 ms
    • AWFUL: Seeing < 1.8 arcsec, t0 > 0.5 ms
  • Fringe tracker mode (VLTI): used by the error / noise modelling to adjust the detector integration time if the Fringe Tracker is present.
  • U-V range to plot: define the U-V range in meters to use in the plot rendering and model image computation (related to the plot scale)
  • Sampling Periodicity: indicate the time in minutes between two UV measurements
  • Total integration time: indicate the time in seconds to repeat and integrate measurements in the detector
  • HA min and HA max fields: use either sliders or numeric text fields to enter the starting and ending hour angles in order to restrict the hour angle range where UV measurements are taken (used by Observability computation, OIFits simulation and Observing blocks)
  • Plot rise/set uv tracks: If enabled, UV tracks are displayed to show the elliptical paths supporting UV measurements given by the Rise / Set intervals of the selected target.
  • Underplot a model image: If enabled, an image representing the Fourier transform of the target object model is displayed on the background of the UV plan.
  • Plot what...: you can choose to represent the amplitude (AMP), phase (PHASE) or square amplitude (SQUARE) of the Fourier transform of the target object model.
  • Compute OIFits data: enable / disable the computation (in background) of the OIFits data (VIS, VIS2, T3)
  • Add error noise to data: enable / disable error noise on observables of the OIFits data (VIS, VIS2, T3); errors are still computed. The default value can be set in the Preferences Window.
  • Use inst. & cal. error bias: if enabled, the noise modelling uses the instrumental visibility / phase & calibration biases in simulated OIFits data error; if disabled, only the theoretical instrumental noise is estimated

Notes
As this plot is zoomable, do not hesitate to zoom in and see if the UV coverage on your object model is interesting.
When an user-defined model is used (FITS image), the Fourier transform is computed using an optimized Fast Fourier Transform algorithm of the given image using the best FFT kernel size (zero padding) to obtain a model image size close to the chosen model image resolution in the Preferences Window; however, if it is too slow, consider using the Fast mode (optimize the input image) in the Preferences Window or reducing either the model image resolution or the input image resolution or size.
In this case, the zoom feature only performs model image zoom (pixels) and do not recompute the Fourier transform to get more details; use the U-V range to plot to force ASPRO 2 to compute the Fourier transform again or use an higher model image resolution.
When an user-defined model is used (FITS image), OIFits data are computed using direct Fourier transform (not FFT) which can be very slow (AMBER High resolution) but more precise at each UV point; however, if it is too slow, consider using the Fast mode (optimize the input image) in the Preferences Window or disable OIFits data computation when not absolutely needed.

OIFits Viewer tab

The OIFits viewer uses an embedded OIFitsExplorer which provides several predefined but customizable plots showing the OIFits simulated data (VIS, VIS2, T3) only if the target has an object model and the OIFits data computation is enabled on the UV coverage panel.

The Show combo box lists many predefined plots:

  • VIS2DATA_T3PHI/SPATIAL_FREQ: square visibility (VIS2DATA) and closure phases (T3PHI) vs the spatial frequency (or its maximum for closure phases)
  • VIS2DATA_T3PHI/EFF_WAVE: square visibility (VIS2DATA) and closure phases (T3PHI) vs the wavelength of the spectral channel
  • VIS2DATA_T3PHI/MJD: square visibility (VIS2DATA) and closure phases (T3PHI) vs the modified julian day
  • VISAMP_VISPHI/SPATIAL_FREQ: visibility amplitude (VISAMP) and phase (VISPHI) vs the spatial frequency
  • LOG_VISAMP_VIS2DATA/SPATIAL_FREQ: visibility amplitude (VISAMP) and square visibility (VIS2DATA) using logarithmic scale vs the spatial frequency
  • etc ...

The Color by selector allows to color data points by effective wavelength, baseline or configuration (multi-configuration).

The Skip flag data checkbox is important to filter out simulated data having signal to noise ratio below 3 (high uncertainty), that may occur at instrument wavelength boundaries.

The Draw line checkbox allows to plot lines along the wavelength axis instead of data points to observe the spectral dispersion; if the x axis corresponds to EFF_WAVE (wavelength), then step lines are used to display histograms (spectra like).

To customize the plot axes, please use the ... button to select the plotted axes / quantities (among OIFITS data columns) and define their ranges (auto / fixed) and many other options (log, include zero).

The plot includes error bars representing the error computed by the noise modelling.

There are 2 types of "noise" in Aspro2:

  • the first one is the noise associated to a single observation and is directly caused by the numbers of photons available for "fringe detection" on the instrument detector. It will decrease with the brightness of the source and the transmission of the telescopes, delay lines, instrument, exposure time (more photons available to start with). It will increase with the detector noise and the atmospheric turbulence.
  • the second (and often dominant) one is just an added percentage of error expected on calibrated values, accounting for the variation of seeing, flux etc between the obejct and its calibrator. This latter "noise" can be deactivated in the interface.

Noise modelling is based on the JMMC-MEM-2800-0001 - Noise model for interferometric combiners document.

In 2016, the noise modelling and the OIFITS data simulator has been improved for new VLTI instruments (GRAVITY & MATISSE) and this work has been described in the SPIE proceedings:
L. BourgŔs and G. Duvert, “ASPRO2: get ready for VLTI’s instruments GRAVITY and MATISSE”, Proc. SPIE 9907, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging V, 990711

The relevant parameters for each instrument are described in: Latest Aspro Configuration

Data and errors are coming from the simulated OIFits file generated "on the fly" which can be exported using the File menu / Export to OIFits file(s) action.

Vis2 / T3 plots with error bars

Note
If errors can not be computed by the noise modelling (missing target magnitudes), data points are then represented using a triangle shape and of course, error bars are not displayed:

Vis2 / T3 plots without error bars

Notes
To enable / disable the OIFits computation or error noise, look at the UV coverage panel.
When an user-defined model is used (FITS image), OIFits data are computed using direct Fourier transform (not FFT) which can be very slow (AMBER High resolution) but more precise at each UV point; however, if it is too slow, consider using the Fast mode (optimize the input image) in the Preferences Window or disable OIFits data computation when not absolutely needed in the UV coverage panel.

OIFits output

ASPRO 2 generates OIFITS (version 1) compliant files from the current observation settings with OI_VIS, OI_VIS2 and OI_T3 tables.

To illustrate the bandwidth smearing effect of the instrumental spectral configuration, ASPRO 2 uses super sampling (3 samples by default) on the target model to compute complex visibilities for instrument modes having less than 100 spectral channels.

The error / noise modelling can estimate errors on OI_VIS, OI_VIS2, OI_T3 using object magnitudes and instrument configuration. If a magnitude is missing (undefined in CDS response), errors can not be computed:

  • OIFits column is filled with NaN values and marked as invalid (flags = T)
  • the status is Warning in ASPRO 2 with an appropriate message.

Note
The OI_VIS table contains additional columns VISDATA and VISERR to store correlated fluxes as complex data;
VISAMP and VISPHI data are ONLY available for AMBER observations using its specific post processing algorithm (amdlib like), and for GRAVITY / MATISSE using purely theoretical estimators.
The number of samples used by the super sampling can be defined by the Supersampling model in spectral channels in the Preferences Window.

Get Information about past observations

Since ASPRO2 release 20.03, ASPRO2 can retrieve past observations logs from the JMMC ObsPortal service. It provides observations logs from the ESO archive (all VLTI instruments) with lots of details: observation setup (configuration, instrument mode), time, UV points, atmospheric conditions.

To get observation logs for a single target, first select the target and use the Edit menu / Get Observations (Selected) action. To get observations logs for all targets, use the Edit menu / Get Observations (All targets) action. Depending on the number of targets and the amount of downloaded data, this action can take a while.

If any past observation corresponds to the selected target, a data table will be displayed on the bottom of the main window showing the corresponding data.

To filter these data, the table panel provides (several) filters:

  • instruments: 1 or multiple instruments can be selected to only display the corresponding observation logs.
  • (more filters are coming soon)

Note
use the cancel button in the status bar to cancel any pending HTTP request.

Observability plot

This plot shows the observability plot of the target 'Dor44'. Past observation ranges of the GRAVITY instrument are displayed as an overlay in orange color:
Aspro2-rawobs-obs.png

Note
Tooltips are showing details about the pointed observation log.

UV Coverage plot

This plot shows the UV coverage of the target 'Dor44'. Past observation UV points of the GRAVITY instrument are displayed (in the background) in orange color:
Aspro2-rawobs-uv.png

Note
Tooltips are showing details about the pointed observation log.

Multi configuration support

When several configurations are selected in the Configuration(s) list, ASPRO 2 evaluates all configurations and updates plots accordingly.

This behaviour corresponds in the real world to perform multiple observations of one target using the same observation settings but using different configurations; these observations are done during several nights: switching from one configuration to another is not allowed during the night.

If night restrictions are used in multi configuration mode, the following warning appears: "Multiple configurations cannot be done in one night (night restrictions are only valid for YYYY/MM/DD)". Night and twilight zones are still helpful to know roughly when these observations can be planned.

Note
ASPRO 2 can not export Observing blocks in multi configuration mode

To illustrate this feature, following configurations are selected to produce the plots below:

  • UT1 UT2 UT3
  • B2 D0 C1
  • K0 G2 D0

Notes
Plots share the same colors associated to selected configurations which are indicated in the legend area.
For CHARA observations, the legend area gives also the "best PoP" combinations found for each configuration.

Interferometer sketch

This plot shows selected configurations and their related base lines:
Aspro2-multiConf-map.png

Observability plot

This plot represents the observability intervals per target and configuration:
Aspro2-multiConf-obs.png

Note
Science and calibrator targets are represented using the same color; but names of calibrator targets have the "(cal)" suffix.
BaseLine limits and Details check boxes are disabled in Multi configuration mode
Use the vertical scrollbar (or mouse wheel) to navigate among your targets.

UV Coverage plot

This plot shows the combined UV coverage of your target using selected configurations:
Aspro2-multiConf-uv.png

OIFits viewer

This plot shows the combined OIFits data of your target using selected configurations:
Aspro2-multiConf-oifitsViewer.png

Target Editor

This window provides 3 tabbed panes respectively to edit target information, target object models and target groups & associations.

Note
To help you navigating among targets, when you select a target in one tabbed pane, it is also selected in other tabbed panes.
This window is modal i.e. changes are only effective when you click on the OK button; closing the window or clicking on the Cancel button is equivalent

Targets Tabbed Pane

The Targets panel allows you to edit target information and associate calibrator target(s) to your science target(s).

On the first screen shot, only science targets are present; on the second screen shot, science and calibrator targets are present:

Target editor with science targets only
Target editor with science and calibrator targets

In the tree view on the left, targets are shown using the following rule to order targets: science targets followed by their calibrator targets.
In the calibrator list on the bottom left, all calibrator targets are present only once.
On the right, target information of the current selected target are displayed and can be edited.

Notes
Both the target tree and the calibrator list support "Drag and Drop" to let you associate one calibrator target to one science target:
You can drag a calibrator from the calibrator list and drop it to any science target present in the target tree.
Besides inside the target tree, you can use the Control key or Command key (mac) to copy a calibrator target from one science target to another one; by default, the calibrator target is moved.

To sort both your science and calibrator targets by their right ascension (R.A.), click on the Sort by R.A. button.

To sort manually your science or calibrator targets, use up or down buttons to move:

  • one science target (and its calibrators) among science targets
  • one calibrator target among the calibrator targets of the same science target

To add a new target, use the Simbad star resolver to resolve target(s) by their identifier (see Targets).

To remove the current target, use the small "X" button and confirm the operation.
If the selected target is a:

  • science target, its associated calibrators are not removed automatically
  • calibrator target, it is also removed automatically from every calibrator list of your science targets

To flag a science target as a calibrator target, select first a science target in the tree view and then click on the Flag calibrator button to enable it: this target is then moved from the tree view to the calibrator list and can be later associated to other science targets using "Drag and Drop". Of course, it is not possible to flag a science target that already have any calibrator target.

Objects can have other flags to be used as Adpative Optics, Fring Tracker or Guide stars, see Groups

To remove the calibrator flag from a calibrator target, select first a calibrator target either in the tree view or in the calibrator list and then click on the Flag calibrator button to disable it: this target is then moved from the calibrator list to the tree view. Of course, if this calibrator target is already associated to science targets, a confirmation message is displayed "Do you really want to remove associations with this calibrator ?". If you confirm, it is also removed automatically from every calibrator list of your science targets.

To remove a calibrator target from the calibrator list of one science target, select first this calibrator target in the tree view and then click on the Remove Calibrator button.

The Target form let you see target information and edit some fields:

  • Target Name, RA / DEC coordinates (in HMS / DMS format); click on the Simbad button to open the CDS Simbad web page corresponding to this target
  • PMRA / PMDEC: proper motion in mas/yr (only used by Observing blocks and OIFits format)
  • Magnitudes: contains known object magnitudes in V (visible), I-J-H-K-N (infrared) bands; you should edit these values when the noise modelling reports missing target magnitude(s)
  • Radial velocity in km/s, Parallax in mas and its Error in mas/yr (only used by Observing blocks and OIFits format)
  • Spectral type, Object types and Identifiers from CDS Simbad catalogs (read only)
  • Calibrator Informations available only for SearchCal calibrators: this table presents main parameters and fields computed by SearchCal including diameters (uniform disk diameters per band...)

The Target notes field let you edit user comments about the selected target.

Models Tabbed Pane

The Models panel allows you to edit the object model of your targets using either an analytical model or an user-defined model (FITS image).

For the selected target, choose the correct Mode to enable its Analytical or User model.

In the tree view at the top left, targets with their models are shown using the following rules to order targets:

  • science targets first
  • then calibrator targets

Note
Calibrator targets are present only once in the tree view and are not associated to their science target in this view.
SearchCal calibrators have an uniform disk model whose diameter can be edited in this panel.

Analytical model

Each target can have its own object model composed of several elementary analytical model among:

  • punct -ual object
  • disk with elongated and flattened variants
  • circle i.e. unresolved ring
  • ring with elongated and flattened variants
  • gaussian distribution with elongated and flattened variants
  • limb darkened disk

Note
The supported model list is subject to change and will evolve in the future.

Model editor with science targets only Model editor with science and calibrator targets
On the first screen shot, only science targets and their models are present; on the second screen shot, science, calibrator targets and their models are present.

To add a new elementary model, choose first its model type and then click on the Add button.

To remove an elementary model, select first a model in the tree view and then click on the Remove button.

Of course, you can convert any elementary model to another type: select first a model in the tree view, choose the new model type and click on the Update button. Please check then parameter values and correct them as wanted.

The Model description area gives you a description of the current elementary model and its parameters. The Model Parameters table let you edit each parameter of analytical models.

When several models are defined for a target, the first model is always centered (x = y = 0 and fixed). Positions of other models can be edited using carthesian coordinates (x / y) or polar coordinates rho and theta (respectively separation and position angle following the astronomical convention from north through east) according to edit positions choice.

The Normalize fluxes button corrects values of the flux_weight parameter to have a total flux equal to 1.0.

Note
The type of coordinates (carthesian or polar) can be defined in the Preferences Window.

User-defined model
Each target can have an user-defined model using one FITS image (monochromatic model) or cube (polychromatic model) representing the object flux over the sky (i.e. X and Y axes corresponds respectively to RA and DEC coordinates) optionally per spectral channel for Fits cubes.

Target editor with an user-defined model

To add or change an user model, click on the Open button and choose your FITS image file (fits or fits.gz files are both supported). The field of view (FOV) of the image or cube is computed (too large FOVs generate a warning and the image is not shown). One can change the FOV using the Scale field and rotate the image using the Rotation field. This permits to "fit" any image, whatever its FITS header values, in the interferometer FOV. Of course you have to know what you do!

Note
Enable the image animator widget to see all polychromatic images (Fits cube only):
Image animator widget

When your FITS image (or cube) is loaded (only the first image / cube present in the FITS file), several image processing tasks are performed to obtain a flux image prepared for Fourier transform computation:

  1. compute its dynamic range
  2. ignore negative values (set to 0.0)
  3. normalize the total flux to 1.0
  4. ignore flux values lower than an adaptive threshold [*] (i.e. set such values to 0.0) to ensure the error on visibility amplitude is lower than 1 thousandth
  5. extract the region of interest (centered region where flux is > 0.0 to ignore blank data pixels
  6. make the image square i.e. width = height = even number

Note
To preserve the model's integrity, Rotation and Scaling are performed on the visibilities only. The image or cube's values are meaningless to ASPRO 2 in terms of flux: the flux of the object (hence, the S/N of the computed visibilities) is always the magnitude in the observation band given in the Targets Panel

The fourth task is only performed when the Fast mode (optimize the input image) is enabled in the Preferences Window: it consists in discarding useless data to have accurate but faster response time when computing optimized Fast (UV plane) or direct Fourier transform (simulated OIFits data).

If your image was successfully loaded and coordinate increments are valid, the prepared image is displayed on the zoomable image preview using given LUT table and Color scale:

  • on the left side, the color scale represents the normalized flux.
  • on the right side, coordinate increments (rad), the field of view (FoV) are displayed. For Fits cubes the image index and its wavelength are also displayed.

Notes
As useless data pixels are discarded, the image preview displays the prepared image having useful flux data that ASPRO 2 will use in Fourier transforms.
To reduce computation time, use small image sizes; moreover, zero padding in the FITS image is useless or counter productive as ASPRO 2 always performs its image processing. However, at the moment ASPRO 2 does not know about the telescope's PSF (or, fiber aperture). So if the object is very extended it is advisable to test the results alternatively on a large, well sampled image of the object multiplied by a gaussian of HWHM=size of the PSF, say, 60 mas for a VLTI/UT

Use the State field to enable or disable an user-defined model. Actually the user-defined model may be automatically disabled if ASPRO 2 can not load its file (moved or deleted) or if coordinate increments are invalid for the selected configuration (UV Max and instrument minimal wavelength); so it is better to place FITS image files in one place dedicated to ASPRO 2 observations on your file system (archive).

Moreover, ASPRO 2 does not embed FITS files in its own Aspro Observation file format for the moment, but certainly in future releases. This means that such observation files can still be exchanged between colleagues but user-defined models will then be disabled. To enable them again, you must send FITS image files to your colleague and he must use either the Open button action to open the FITS image files (placed to another location on his file system) or use the State field to enable them (same file location).

Note
ASPRO 2 computes FITS checksum to ensure file integrity and detect if an used user-defined model has changed. In such case, this model will be disabled and ASPRO 2 encourages you to check your FITS image by opening the Target editor.

Following FITS image keywords are interpreted by ASPRO 2:

SIMPLE  =                    T / Fits standard
BITPIX  =                  -32 / Bits per pixel                                Float (REAL*4) but any data type is supported
NAXIS   =                    3 / Number of axes                                2 or 3 respectively for FITS image/cube
NAXIS1  =                  512 / Axis length                                   RA  / column
NAXIS2  =                  512 / Axis length                                   DE / row
[NAXIS3 =                    7 / Axis length                                   Optional Wavelength axis]
EXTEND  =                    T / File may contain extensions
[...]
CRPIX1  =                 256. / Reference pixel
CRVAL1  =                   0. / Coordinate at reference pixel
CDELT1  =             -1.2E-10 / Coord. incr. per pixel (original value)       rad / pixel (RA / column)
[CUNIT1 =              'RAD'   / Units along axis                              Optional axis units (rad, deg, arcmin, arcsec)]
CRPIX2  =                 256. / Reference pixel
CRVAL2  =                   0. / Coordinate at reference pixel
CDELT2  =              1.2E-10 / Coord. incr. per pixel (original value)       rad / pixel (DE / row)
[CUNIT2 =              'RAD'   / Units along axis                              Optional axis units (rad, deg, arcmin, arcsec)]
[CRPIX3 =                   1. / Reference pixel
CDELT3 =              4.75E-02 / Coord. incr. per pixel (original value)       (Wavelength increment / image)
CRVAL3 =              1.528550 / Coordinate at reference pixel                 Wavelength reference
CUNIT3 =              'MICRON' / Units along axis                              Optional axis units (meter, micron, nanometer, hertz)]
[...]

Notes
NAXIS1 and NAXIS2 are not expected to be even number or power of two nor equals; any axis length > 1 is supported.
Coordinate increments (RA / DEC) are mandatory and expected in DEGREES (not radians, from ASPRO2 0.9.9.2) if no given unit (CUNIT keywords).
Use the Scale and Rotation fields to adjust the Coordinate increments (RA / DEC) and apply any rotation to the user model.

To get the description of the current FITS file, you can click on the Info button.

For example, the following screen shot shows the UV coverage plot of the previous spiral user-defined model:

UV Coverage plot for HD 1234 (user model)

Groups Tabbed Pane

The Groups panel allows you to Drag & Drop targets to define groups and associations, in particular to associate ancillary stars to your SCIENCE or CALIBRATOR objects using the predefined groups:
  • AO (Adaptive Optics),
  • FT (Fringe Tracker),
  • Guide stars.

In the following screenshot, 'Sirius B' uses the 'Sirius A' star for the AO sub-system:

Group AO

On the left side, all SCIENCE / CALIBRATOR targets are shown with their associated stars. On the middle tree panel, target Groups are shown with their corresponding stars; stars can belong to multiple groups. On the right side, target groups are displayed for the selected target (see checked boxes) and the group information is displayed for the selected group.

To mark a target as AO / FT / Guide stars, select it on the left side and either click on the corresponding Group(s) (AO star, FT star, Guide star) or use Drag & Drop to the appropriate Group in the tree on the middle (Target groups with their associated targets).

To associate an AO / FT / Guide star to your SCIENCE / CALIBRATOR target(s), use Drag & Drop from the selected ancillary star in the appropriate AO / FT / Guide Star Group to the corresponding SCIENCE / CALIBRATOR target. To discard such association between targets, select the ancillary star and use the Remove association button.

To create user-defined groups, use the Add group button and edit its name, description and color. Only empty user-defined groups can be removed using the Delete group button.

Notes
Target groups (AO / FT) are used by the noise modelling and A2P2 interoperability.
Target group handling is a new feature in ASPRO2 0.9.9.5 (sep 2018) and still a work in progress (user-defined groups) as target groups are still not displayed in the main window, for example in the main or Observability panels.

Preferences

This window let you define several settings that are stored on your machine and will be loaded at application start up.

Preferences

Preferences are grouped by feature:

  • Observability
  • Model editor
  • Model Image
  • User Model
  • OIFits data
  • Miscellaneous: it gathers several preferences related to the default web browser, Look and Feel and GUI up-scaling for Hi-DPI screens (retina or 4K); please test your UI scale factor using the Update UI button but it is recommended to restart the application once the proper value is set.

Use the Restore Default settings button to reset your preferences to default values and Save Modifications to make you changes persistent; otherwise, your settings will be used until you close ASPRO 2.

JSkyCalc tool

The JSkyCalc tool made by J. R. Thorstensen, Dartmouth College has one main window with all lot of buttons which shows / hides a pop up window per feature:
  • live sky display showing moon, planets, your targets indicated by a cross symbol and its name
  • airmass plot(s) for the selected object or all targets
  • hourly circumstances, nightly almanac, seasonal observability, planet table ...

Notes
Click on the sky button on the ASPRO 2 main panel to synchronize your observation (observatory location, target list, date, and time set to 20:00 Local time)
All JSkyCalc windows are synchronized i.e. all plots / windows are refreshed if you add / remove a target or modify the current date / time.
Closing the main window will close also all opened pop up windows

JSkyCalc main window JSkyCalc sky display

Click on the Help button to open the JSkyCalc documentation page.

Interoperability

JMMC applications are able to communicate with other VO tools (VO stands for virtual observatory) using SAMP (Simple Applications Messaging Protocol) messaging protocol (see IVOA SAMP for more information).

Here are JMMC applications supporting the SAMP messaging protocol:

  • AppLauncher ensures VO interoperability by managing the SAMP hub and automatically start VO tools
  • ASPRO 2 interacts with JMMC SearchCal, LITpro, OIFits Explorer / OImaging (custom message types) and accepts incoming messages in VOTable format (target list) from any VO tool (Simbad, ViZier, Topcat ...)
  • SearchCal interacts with ASPRO 2 and any VO application supporting VOTable (Topcat ...)
  • LITpro accepts incoming messages from ASPRO 2 and exports data tables to Topcat

The following page gives you the official list of VO applications supporting SAMP messaging protocol: IVOA SAMP Software

General description:
The communication architecture is the following: all tools communicate with a central "Hub" process, so a hub must be running in order for the messaging to operate. If a hub is running when a JMMC application starts, or if one starts up while any JMMC application is in operation, it will connect to it automatically. A hub can be started from within any JMMC application if needed. Other tools will have their own policies for connecting to the hub, but in general it is a good idea to start a hub first before starting up the tools which you want to talk to it.

This communication has two aspects to it: on the one hand an application can send messages to other applications which causes them to do things, and on the other hand an application can receive and act on such messages sent by other applications.

SAMP in JMMC applications

When a JMMC application starts, it will try to connect to an existing hub or start a new internal hub.
The running hub is indicated by the science target system tray icon that provides following actions:
  • use Show Hub window to see registered applications
  • use Stop Hub to stop the hub and disable communications between applications (not recommended)

Here is a screen shot of the hub status window:

Hub status window

Anyway when the JMMC application is started, it will be ready to communicate with other JMMC (and VO) applications.

JMMC applications have an Interop menu containing common actions followed by specific actions to send messages to other applications:

Interop menu

Common actions are:

  • Register With Hub action connects this application to the running hub; if no hub is running, a confirmation dialog asks you if you want to start an internal hub and connect to it.
  • Unregister from Hub action disconnects this application from the hub; other applications can no more communicate with this application
  • Show Hub Status action opens the hub window to see registered applications

Note
If you close the JMMC application which started the hub, other applications will be disconnected and no hub will be running any more.
In this case, you should use the Register With Hub action to start another hub and other JMMC applications will reconnect to it automatically.

ASPRO 2 / SearchCal

How to find calibrators easily using SearchCal from ASPRO 2 ?

SearchCal is a tool developed by the JMMC Working Group "catalogue of calibration sources" to assist the astronomers in this calibrator selection process for long baseline interferometric observations.

Note
As SearchCal uses the JMMC server to operate, an internet connection is required.
SearchCal 4.3+ is required to support interoperability with ASPRO 2.

Here is a step by step tutorial:

  1. Start the SearchCal application (or it is already running) to be able to communicate with it: SearchCal
    Aspro2-calibrators-SearchCal-start.png
  2. In ASPRO 2, select your science target in the target list and use the Search calibrators action in the Interop menu to let ASPRO 2 send a message to SearchCal with your target information (coordinates, magnitudes), the instrument band and other parameters (maximum baseline length):
    Aspro2-calibrators-StartSearchQuery.png
  3. SearchCal interprets the ASPRO 2 message, updates its graphical user interface and sends the query immediately (please wait). When calibrators are found, they are filtered and displayed:
    Aspro2-calibrators-SearchCal-results.png
  4. Select the calibrators you want or all displayed calibrators (i.e. filtered) will be sent to ASPRO 2.
  5. Use the Send calibrators to action in the Interop Menu to let SearchCal send these calibrators to ASPRO 2:
    Aspro2-calibrators-SearchCal-SendCalibrators.png
  6. ASPRO 2 processes the SearchCal message and displays an operation summary:
    Aspro2-calibrators-Summary.png
  7. That's all: ASPRO 2 has updated the target list with SearchCal calibrators, created an uniform disk model for every calibrator target using the SearchCal diameter corresponding to the instrument band (UD_ fields) and the graphical user interface is updated:
  • Observability plot: calibrators are represented in blue and are located below their related science target:
    Aspro2-calibrators-obs.png
  • UV Coverage plot for a SearchCal calibrator target:
    Aspro2-calibrators-uv.png
  • Target editor with calibrators
Target editor with science and calibrator targets Model editor with science and calibrator targets

Note
If you choose another instrument or instrument mode (i.e. instrument band), SearchCal calibrators may become inappropriate. Look at the UV Coverage plot to verify that one calibrator target is still a "good" calibrator for your observation.
Moreover, you can still use the Calibrator Information which contains uniform disk diameters (per band) to get the correct diameter value and use it to set the diameter value of the disk model associated to one calibrator target.

ASPRO 2 / LITpro

How to prepare easily your model fitting using LITpro from ASPRO 2 ?

LITpro is a model fitting software, developed and maintained by one JMMC working group ( CRAL, LAOG and FIZEAU ).

Note
As LITpro uses the JMMC server to operate, an internet connection is required.
LITpro 1.0.7+ is required to support interoperability with ASPRO 2.

Here is a step by step tutorial:

  1. Start the LITpro application (or it is already running) to be able to communicate with it: LITpro
    Aspro2-LITpro-start.png
  2. In ASPRO 2, select your target in the target list and use the Perform model fitting action in the Interop menu to let ASPRO 2 send a message to LITpro with your simulated OIFits file and target information (with object model) as shown on the UV Coverage plot:
    Aspro2-LITpro-send.png
  3. LITpro interprets the ASPRO 2 message, loads the OIFits file and displays the OIFits validation summary:
    Aspro2-LITpro-summary.png
  4. That's all: LITpro has now updated the graphical interface with the new created settings including the OIFits file and the target with its object model:
    Aspro2-LITpro-settings.png
  • LITpro shows the content summary of OIFits files:
    Aspro2-LITpro-settings-File.png
  • LITpro can also plot any data table (OI_VIS, OI_VIS2, OI_T3):
    Aspro2-LITpro-settings-Vis2.png

ASPRO 2 / OIFits Explorer

Using the Send OIFits data action in the Interop menu, you can send your simulated OIFits file to the OIFitsExplorer / OImaging or any other VO tools supporting FITS files.

It can be very helpful in several use cases:

  • combine simulated data (ASPRO 2) with observed data for your target to adjust your observation proposal (hour angle, UV coverage)
  • combine simulated data (ASPRO 2) from different interferometer or instruments (extended multi configuration)
  • evaluate the image reconstruction of simulated OIFITS data with OImaging

ASPRO 2 / A2P2

Using the Send Obs. block(s) to A2p2 action in the Interop menu, you can send an Observing Block of the selected target to A2P2, the ASPRO2 bridge to ESO P2 or CHARA backends.

See the A2P2 wiki: ASPRO2 / A2P2 Tutorial

ASPRO 2 - Export targets to VO Tools

Using the Export targets to VOTable action in the Interop menu, you can send your target list to any other VO tools supporting VOTable files (another ASPRO2 instance, Topcat or Aladin for finding charts).

ASPRO 2 - Import targets from VO Tools

ASPRO 2 supports the standard 'table.load.votable' SAMP message to import one target list from any VO Tool (Topcat, Vizier ...) using the VOTable format (version 1.1 and 1.2) conforming to the following rules:

  • Single RESOURCE and TABLE containing target data using TABLEDATA serialization only
  • Coordinate system (COOSYS) is eq_FK5 / J2000 (STC not supported)
  • Specific ASPRO 2 parameters can define also its configuration (interferometer, instrument, baseline ...) for advanced use cases: contact the user support team if you are interested
  • Data columns are interpreted using UCD i.e. Uniform Content Descriptors (version 1.0 and 1.1) and their units

Supported data columns are listed in the following table:

Name Description Data type UCD 1.0 UCD 1.1 Supported Units
NAME Target name (identifier) char META.MAIN meta.id;meta.main
RA Right ascension - J2000 char POS_EQ_RA_MAIN pos.eq.ra;meta.main 'h:m:s' or 'hms' or 'deg'
DEC Declination - J2000 char POS_EQ_DEC_MAIN pos.eq.ra;meta.main 'd:m:s' or 'dms' or 'deg'
RV Radial velocity double VELOC_HC spect.dopplerVeloc.opt 'km.s-1' or 'km/s'
PMRA Proper motion in RA double POS_EQ_PMRA pos.pm;pos.eq.ra 'mas.yr-1' or mas/yr
PMDEC Proper motion in DEC double POS_EQ_PMDEC pos.pm;pos.eq.dec 'mas.yr-1' or mas/yr
PLX Parallax double POS_PARLX_TRIG pos.parallax.trig mas
e_PLX Parallax error double POS_PARLX_TRIG_ERROR stat.error;pos.parallax.trig mas
HD HD identifier (H. Draper: III/135A) char META.ID meta.id
HIP HIP identifier (Hipparcos catalogue: I/239) char META.ID meta.id
2MASS 2MASS identifier (2Micron All-Sky Survey: II/246) char META.ID meta.id
OTYPES Object type(s) char src.class
SP_TYPES MK spectral type(s) char SPECT_TYPE_MK src.spType
FLUX_V Magnitude V double PHOT_JHN_V phot.mag;em.opt.V mag
FLUX_I Magnitude I double PHOT_JHN_I phot.mag;em.opt.I mag
FLUX_J Magnitude J double PHOT_JHN_J phot.mag;em.IR.J mag
FLUX_H Magnitude H double PHOT_JHN_H phot.mag;em.IR.H mag
FLUX_K Magnitude K double PHOT_JHN_K phot.mag;em.IR.K mag
FLUX_N Magnitude N double PHOT_JHN_N phot.mag;em.IR.8-15um mag

Notes
Only Name and coordinates (RA/DEC) are mandatory. Supported identifiers must use correct column names (HD, HIP, 2MASS).

Here is a sample VOTable file describing all possible parameters and columns:
Aspro2_samp_load_votable.xml: Aspro2 Sample Target list (VOTable)

Support and change requests

Please do not hesitate to use the JMMC Feedback Report integrated using Help menu / Report Feedback to JMMC... action:
Aspro2-FeebackReport.png

Of course, you can still contact the user support team for any bug report or change request.

Note
If an unexpected exception occurs in a JMMC application, an error message will be displayed and the JMMC Feedback Report will be opened to encourage users to submit their problems and let the JMMC technical team fix it as soon as possible

Sample files

Here are the "Guided Tour" Observation files that can be loaded in ASPRO 2 / SearchCal / LITpro for demonstration purposes:

Here is a sample VOTable file:

Sample files (VLTI Period 96):


Former sample files (VLTI Period 88):

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Topic revision: r108 - 2021-03-17 - LaurentBourges
 
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