VIDEO (Jan97)       furnace

SOML oven documentation - furnace

OPIC (Jan97)       furnace


video --- Dave Harvey's OPIC program for oven video acquisition -- V2.5


The OPIC program on the video PC controls the operation of the cameras and flashes and the collection of images with the framegrabbers. The images are stored on disk in FITS image format with names that identify the camera and the day/time. The video PC contains three framegrabbers which can store and display images.


To start the oven video program on the Video PC:
	cd video

When the OPIC program starts, the user has a choice of six menus: File, Show, Select, Image, Calibrate, Camera. These menus can be navigated with the mouse or the arrow keys in combination with the return and escape keys (left mouse button is the same as return, right is the same as escape).

FILE --- Output File Management

Save Dis N
This item will save the acquired image in display N to a FITS format file on disk.

Retrieve Dis N
This item will retrieve a FITS file which you select from a menu and show it on display N.

This item temporarily suspends OPIC to give you a DOS Shell. Typing "exit" at the DOS prompt will return you to OPIC.

This item stops the OPIC program.

SHOW --- Select Display Image Plane

This item shows the live video signal from the selected camera on Display 1. This is only useful for testing or looking at the infrared only view.

This item shows the recently acquired images in the frame buffer on all three displays.

This item shows the images in the frame buffer which have been retrieved from disk on all three displays.

SELECT --- Select Camera / Strobes, Disk

This starts an interactive window which allows the user to select the cameras and strobes which will be used for the next picture. The camera are the circles and the strobes are the squares. Select each one by clicking with the mouse. Only one camera can be selected, but anywhere from zero to four strobes can be selected. Hit the key to exit this window. Clicking on a camera with the middle mouse button will make it "unavailable".

Local Disk
This item toggles whether archived or retrieved images are put on the local PC disk (drive D:) or on the remote PC-NFS disk (drive E:). When the little carat is present, that means the local disk is selected. (See below for information on how to change the disk paths.)

IMAGE --- Image Management

Acquire Disp N
The item starts the acquisition of an image with the currently selected cameras and flashes. The image is stored (temporarily) in display N.

The item executes the automatic script to acquire images at predetermined intervals. See below for the format of the auto script. Manual images are still possible if the auto script allows suffcient deadtime.

CALIBRATE --- Strobe Testing and Calibration

Set Delay
Don't fool with this parameter. It is used to synchronize the strobe with the frame grabber.

Flash N
Discharge Flash N (as soon as it charges up). Typical charging time is about 15 seconds.

The item does a software initialization of the 3 frame grabbers.

CAMERA --- Set Camera Parameters

Select gain for current camera with mouse. (0-3) Gain of 0 makes the image brighter and gain of 3 makes the image fainter. The scaling is non-linear.

Select offset for current camera with mouse. (0-255) A smaller offset raises the level of the image toward white.

Shutter Speed
Select shutter speed for current camera from menu. Normal speed for flashing is 1/4000 sec.


Here is the revised version of the auto script. It takes about 5 minutes to run, so the plan is to execute it with a 7 minute delay. I think we should plan to run this in a serious fashion from ~6AM on April 2 until ~6AM on April 3. With selected before and after data, ie every 90 min.

	Camera	Display	Flash	Shutter	Gain Offset	Disk
	D	2	-	60	1	255	Remote
	D	2	-	4000	1	255	Remote
	D	2	BC	4000	1	255	Remote
	C	3	AC	4000	1	255	Local
	A	1	CD	4000	1	255	Local
	D	2	-	4000	1	255	Remote
	D	2	BC	4000	1	255	Remote
	B	1	-	4000	1	255	Local
	B	1	AC	4000	1	255	Local
The actual script "auto.prm"
4 0 2 2 0
4 0 2 2 6
4 6 2 2 6
3 5 3 1 6
1 12 1 1 6
4 0 2 2 6
4 6 2 2 6
2 0 1 1 6
2 5 1 1 6

The first column is the camera number: A=1 B=2 C=3 D=4
The second column is the flash number: A=1 B=2 C=4 D=8 (summable)
The third column is the display (framegrabber) number: 1,2,3
The fourth column is the destination: 0=no save 1=local disk 2=remote disk
The fifth column is the shutter: 0=1/60 ........6=1/4000, 7=1/10000

Gain and offset for each camera must be set manually. They are not controlled by the script.

In the C:VIDEO directory, GETAUTO.BAT will copy the file named "auto.prm" from the remote disk E:. This is useful for installing a new script sequence on the fly.


In terms of disk storage, I currently think we can use the following for immediate storage of incoming images.
	crater!/d0/pilot/video		(shared with oven data)
	crater!/d1/pilot/video		~800 MB
	PC Drive D:			  80 MB

The remote disk on the Sun is mounted under PC-NFS. The path for this disk is set by C:NFSNFSCONF to something like "E: crater /d1/pilot/video". This directory must also be "export"ed from SunOS before PC-NFS can mount it.

The places where OPIC stores images on the local and remote disks are controlled by the DOS variables OPIC_NET and OPIC_LOCAL. Paths are set in AUTOEXEC.BAT, so the user should not have to mess with them.

The FITS image file names are something like H1618403.FTS This means this frame was taken on August (H=8) 16th at 18:40 between 30 and 39 seconds after the minute of the PC clock.

The video PC will ask for the pilot password when it boots and loads the NFS software. This is to accomodate the transfer of images to pilot's disk space on the Sun.


Sometimes the frame grabbers get "grainy" looking. The usual cure for this is to reboot the PC by cycling the power. The power down apparently fixes things that a soft reboot or reinitialization doesn't. This needs to be done about once a day.

If you are turning off the video PC for an extended period, be sure to turn off the flash power supplies. This avoids leaving the flash capacitors in a charged state.