LGS Target Lists

Preparing LGS target lists for US Space Command and processing the results involves many steps.
  1. A few weeks before an AO run, email the observer a notice about the LGS target list. Sample email is below:
    Dear Dr. Metchev,
    You are scheduled for LGS AO nights on Dec 21-23.  I need to have your
    LGS target list by Dec 14th so I can process it and send it to US
    Space Command.  Please refer to
    for details about the target list (which should include not only your
    science targets, but also PSF stars and 9th mag alignment stars near
    each science target) and other issues related to AO (both NGS and LGS)
    Contact me if you have any questions about what should be included
    in the target list or other AO issues.
  2. The observer should email a target list in the following format. The TargetName should have no spaces and the RA and Dec may be space or colon separated.
    TargetName  RA  Dec  Epoch
    for example:
    PKS0736+01 07:36:42.51 01:44:00.24 1950
    M10 16 57 06.0 -04 06 00 2000
  3. We take the observer provided target list and add the following header info. It is ok for most fields to be bogus, e.g. ?? for an unknown phone number or program, but the Date must be the PST date that the lasing will occur. The file can be named anything, but I use the following convention - LGStargetlist_YYYYMonDD.txt, e.g. LGStargetlist_2008Jan19.txt, where YYYYMonDD is the PST date of lasing. You should put the file on shard in /u/user/observers/lgs/targetLists/ (you don't have to do this, but it keeps everything organized for everyone if you do).
    Observer's name:        Gates
    Observer's email:
    Observer's phone:       9-5910
    Program name:   Active Galaxies
    Date for which list applies:  19 January 2008
    Target list:
  4. Space command requires files to be in PRM format. The PRM program is currently on shard in /usr/local/lick/lgs/bin/.
    Syntax: PRM targetlist

    For example:
    PRM LGStargetlist_2008Jan19.txt

    PRM creates 3 (or more, if more than 150 targets) output files, that will be on shard in /u/user/observers/lgs/PRM/. These files are

    1. PRM_Lick_LGS_YYYYMMDD_for_JDAY-ddd_AzEl.txt
      where YYYYMMDD is the current date, e.g. 20080527, and
      ddd is the julian date of lasing.
    2. PRM_Lick_LGS_YYYYMMDD_for_JDAY-ddd_RA-Dec.txt
      where YYYYMMDD is the current date, e.g. 20080527, and
      ddd is the julian date of lasing.
    3. YYYYmmmDDUT.txt where YYYYmmmDD is the UT date of lasing, e.g. 2008Jan20UT.txt.

  5. Email the PRM files to space command at and It is a good idea to copy as well on the emails. The target list should be emailed to space command at least a few days in advance of the lasing date (I try to email them 4 days before the run). (FYI, if you need to phone space command, the number is 805-605-6546)

    Sample Email message:

    Dear SBM,
    Attached are PRM files for Lick Observatory Laser activities for UT
    2008 July 20-23 (J-Days 202-205).
    Please email clearances to
    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
    Thank you,
    Elinor Gates
  6. On the day of lasing (or often the day before), space command will email the PAM files to Please save these files to shard in /u/user/observers/lgs/lsm/ and give them descriptive names (e.g. 2008jday168azel.txt and 2008jday168radec.txt). Note: Both Julian date and UT date are listed in the PAM file from space command in case you aren't sure what date the files are for.
  7. There are three processing programs to deal with the laser clearances and create the files for the Laser Shutdown Monitor (lsm). These programs are on shard in /usr/local/lick/lgs/bin/.
    1. lsmParse.tcl takes each PAM file and creates the lsm files.
      Syntax: lsmParse.tcl PAMfile
      Example: lsmParse.tcl 2008jday168azel.txt
      Example: lsmParse.tcl 2008jday168radec.txt
    2. lsmCheck.tcl checks to make sure that every requested target was cleared (and lists targets cleared, but not requested).
      Syntax: lsmCheck.tcl lsmUTDate
      Example: lsmCheck.tcl 2008Jan20UT
    3. lsmNames.tcl takes the lsm files and renames them according to the target names provided by the observer in the LGStargetlist file.
      Syntax: lsmNames.tcl lsmUTDate
      Example: lsmNames.tcl 2008Jan20UT
  8. At the time of lasing, start the Laser Shutdown Monitor (on shard, /usr/local/lick/lgs/bin/lsm.tcl) and make sure the lsm file for the proper target is loaded.

Last modified: Wed Apr 9 12:40:38 PDT 2014