Real-time exposure control and instrument operation with the NEID spectrograph GUI
AffiliationSteward Observatory, University of Arizona
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CitationGupta, A. F., Bender, C. F., Ninan, J. P., Logsdon, S. E., Kanodia, S., Golub, E., Higuera, J., Klusmeyer, J., Halverson, S., Mahadevan, S., McElwain, M., Schwab, C., Stefansson, G., Robertson, P., Roy, A., Terrien, R., & Wright, J. (2022). Real-time exposure control and instrument operation with the NEID spectrograph GUI. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 12189.
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AbstractThe NEID spectrograph on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope at Kitt Peak has completed its first full year of science operations and is reliably delivering sub-m/s precision radial velocity measurements. The NEID instrument control system uses the TIMS package (Bender et al. 2016), which is a client-server software system built around the twisted python software stack. During science observations, interaction with the NEID spectrograph is handled through a pair of graphical user interfaces (GUIs), written in PyQT, which wrap the underlying instrument control software and provide straightforward and reliable access to the instrument. Here, we detail the design of these interfaces and present an overview of their use for NEID operations. Observers can use the NEID GUIs to set the exposure time, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) threshold, and other relevant parameters for observations, configure the calibration bench and observing mode, track or edit observation metadata, and monitor the current state of the instrument. These GUIs facilitate automatic spectrograph configuration and target ingestion from the nightly observing queue, which improves operational efficiency and consistency across epochs. By interfacing with the NEID exposure meter, the GUIs also allow observers to monitor the progress of individual exposures and trigger the shutter on user-defined SNR thresholds. In addition, inset plots of the instantaneous and cumulative exposure meter counts as each observation progresses allow for rapid diagnosis of changing observing conditions as well as guiding failure and other emergent issues. © COPYRIGHT SPIE. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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