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Spot Version 19.0 Release Notes

Posted: 09 Sep 2011
Updated: 09 Dec 2011
Updated: 07 Feb 2014
Updated: 17 Sep 2014
Updated: 5 Aug 2015
Updated: 3 Feb 2016

Jump to Version 19.9.1 notes
Jump to Version 19.10 notes
Jump to Version 19.11 notes

We have released a new version of Spot, S19. You should allow Spot to auto-update in order to, e.g., calculate current resource estimates.

This new version supports PCRS peakup for long staring observations with IRAC (e.g., exoplanet observations). This option should enable a more accurate placement of the target on the default central pixel (full array or subarray). More information is below.

Also as of this version, if you do not explicitly select a field of view, it is assumed that you want to use a field of view centered on a position in between the two arrays. More information is below.


PCRS Peak-up for IRAC

This new version supports PCRS peakup for long staring observations with IRAC (e.g., exoplanet observations) in which high photometric precision (part in 103 or better) is required. The PCRS Peak-up option uses the spacecraft's optical pointing system for peak-up. This option should enable a more accurate placement of the target on the default central pixel (full array or subarray). To use this option, select "PCRS Peak-up" under the Peak-Up Settings in the IRAC-PC AOT window. If you are not making observations that require very high precision photometry, we recommend ignoring this option as it introduces an overhead of 2-5 minutes into the observation for the peakup.

The use of the peakup mode is currently being investigated and we recommend that observers contact the SSC before submitting AORs using this mode. Tests of the mode are being conducted and the best practices for using this mode will be released in a memo once analysis is complete. We expect that the mode will be fully operational prior to the end of 2011.

All stars used for PCRS peak-up must meet the PCRS-GSC selection requirements, including V magnitudes between 7 and 12.1. Spot allows you to select peak-up stars around your target, if available, directly from the PCRS guide star catalog (for reference, see http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/data/SPITZER/docs/files/spitzer/FES-03-PCRS_CMT.pdf and http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/data/SPITZER/docs/files/spitzer/PCRSGuideStarCatalog.txt) by pressing the PCRS Selection button shown in Figure 1, below. An example of the resulting list of suitable candidate stars is shown in Figure 2, below. Note that the proper motion for the peak-up stars is already included. Click anywhere on the row of information for a star to select it. Then click "OK," and the peak-up star's coordinates and V magnitude (as well as the proper motion) will be entered in the Peak-Up Target field of the AOR (see Figure 3, below). You can continue to make further modifications to the peak-up target information, or simply view it, by pressing the View/Modify Peak-up Target that will appear in the main IRAC-PC AOT window (Figure 3).

If you are not performing observations requiring pointing to this level of accuracy, you can ignore this option (Figure 4, below).

Figure 1: The IRAC-PC AOT, when PCRS peakup is selected.

Figure 2: Example PCRS Peak-up candidates list, showing stars from the PCRS guide star catalog that are "acceptable" for peak-up.

Figure 3: The IRAC-PC AOT, after selecting a PCRS peakup star.

Figure 4: The default IRAC-PC AOT, with peakup disabled.

Default IRAC field of view

Also as of this version, the mapping field of view (the FOV centered between the two arrays) can be selected when using all target types and mapping modes but not in subarray mode. Previously, the mapping field of view was used only for a single target and mapping in array coordinates. The intent of this change is to provide observers with the additional flexibility of using the mapping field of view in designing customized map patterns. To use the mapping FOV, deselect both arrays in the field of view dialog. In previous versions of SPOT, at least one field of view needed to be selected. The mapping FOV is still used when mapping in array coordinates with both fields of view selected. The following examples demonstrate the behavior when various combinations of field of view are selected. Example 4 is the new capability added in S19. In all cases, the 3.6 micron field of view (IRAC-1) is cyan, and the 4.5 micron field of view (IRAC-2) is magenta. The target as entered into Spot is a small red square.

Example 1: Both fields of view selected (the default), single pointing, no mapping or dithering. An image of the requested target is obtained at IRAC-1 and IRAC-2. Serendipitous images of additional fields are obtained, e.g., an offset IRAC-2 field is obtained when IRAC-1 is imaging the target.
Example 2: Just the 3.6 micron field of view selected, single pointing, no mapping or dithering. An image of the requested target is obtained at IRAC-1. A serendipitous image of an additional offset field is obtained in IRAC-2.
Example 3: Just the 4.5 micron field of view selected, single pointing, no mapping or dithering. An image of the requested target is obtained at IRAC-2. A serendipitous image of an additional offset field is obtained in IRAC-1.
Example 4: Neither field of view selected, single pointing, no mapping or dithering. The requested target is placed between the two fields of view. No data are obtained at the specific requested target position, but is obtained in the two fields adjacent to it as shown.

Version 19.9.1

Version 19.9.1 of Spot is available as an auto-update.

Spot now contains access to the AllWISE image atlas, All-Sky single exposure images and AllWISE source catalog.

Spot now also contains access to the Spitzer Enhanced Image Products (SEIP) source list.

We have been able to reduce the additional 300 second overhead charged for moving target AORs to 180 seconds, based on our warm mission experience. So the total overhead charged to each AOR is now 210 seconds for fixed targets and 390 seconds for moving targets.

Version 19.10

Version 19.10 of Spot is available as an auto-update.

Spot requires JAVA version 1.6 or 1.7. It does not work with version 1.8. Prospective GO investigators are strongly encouraged to download Spot and to start planning their observing programs well before the proposal submission deadline. Allow Spot to auto-update to the latest version (Options => Use Automatic Spot Version Update), if you have not already. If you use Linux and JAVA version 1.8, we recommend you download Spot for Linux from the Proposal Kit webpage and do a clean re-install, then let Spot auto- update. See the Proposal Kit webpage for more detailed instructions.

LINUX: There is a bug associated with Linux Spot using Java 1.8. The fix is to use Java 1.7. Please re-install the Linux version of Spot and then let it do an autoupdate. Alternatively, you can download this script, run it to replace Java 1.8 with Java 1.7. This script is a C Shell script and the user needs to do chmod +x to make it executable.

Version 19.11

Version 19.11 of Spot is available as an auto-update.

Spot can now caculate visibility windows through 2019.

Spot and Leopard have been updated to work with the new SIMBAD API.