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Data collected by the Detector Memory System (DMS) may be saved to the SPARCstation 2 (currently LPSS3) for examination using SAOIMAGE or IRAF applications.The Sparcstation is intended to meet the need for very rapid on-line evaluation of data, using standard reduction software. The system consists of a Sparcstation 2, with 64 Mbyte of memory and 3 Gbyte of local disk storage, connected to the DMS via a commercial S-bus to VME adapter. This allows very rapid transfer of data from the DMS to the SPARCstation.
The run number of the saved data is the same as that used on the VAX. At present, the data are transferred without headers. Data may be written from the SPARC to an exabyte in TAR format, or FITS format, from IRAF. Instructions on starting up the SPARC and on using the various applications are kept in the control room. Image-examination routines run much faster on the SPARC than on the VAXes.
IPCS data can be saved to the SPARC while the exposure is building up.
The windows typically open on the SPARC are:
The interface for transferring data from DMS memory to the Sparcstation local disks is controlled graphically on the Sparcstation itself. To transfer a specific buffer to the Sparcstation the user simply moves the pointer to the name or number of that buffer, selects it with the mouse, then selects with the mouse the SAVE option in the interface window. An IRAF format file is then created in a scratch area on one of the Sparcstation discs, and the name of the file created is displayed in the interface window. At present no header information at all is stored with the data files. The images can then be displayed in the SAOIMAGE window with the IRAF command display.
IRAF contains many facilities for rapid analysis of data of all types, users who require specialised facilities are advised to refer to the KPNO user manuals and cook-books, which are kept in dark blue loose leaved binders in the control room. For quick-look analysis of images and simple spectroscopic data the IRAF command imexamine has many of the required facilities. Typing help <commandname> at the IRAF interface produces a detailed description of the command, and typing help <commandname> | lpr will produce a hard copy of the help file on the Sparc laser printer.
By the end of 1993, the DMS display functions should have been transferred to the SPARC, making the DMS monitor superfluous. Header examination and FITSOUT from the SPARC should also be available.
The mountain-top SPARC cluster currently includes 7 SPARCs, 3 exabyte and a laser printer. There is a SPARC plus exabyte in each telescope building.