Vegas Pulsar Commissioning Tests
Notes on how to test pulsar observing modes for the VEGAS backend system.
- Added basic instructions for running the dealer/player software (-RL, 2/23/15)
- Created sub-pages for detailed notes for tests of each mode (-RL, 2/17/15)
- Created Google spreadsheet for summarizing testing progress for each mode (-RL, 2/17/15)
- Expanded on specific tests to run on the test pulsar to check for properly recovered pulse and timing (-RL, 2/13/15)
Mode Tests Summary
Initial Setup and Configuration
Descibe here how to configure your account / session in order to run the tests. e.g.
- source /home/gbt/gbt.bash
- source /home/gbt/sparrow/sparrow.bash
- source /home/pulsar64/guppi/guppi.bash
- Astrid session to use... (TODO)
- Where the data will go... (TBD)
Running the Dealer and Player
- Start the player on srbs-hpc1
- ssh into srbs-hpc1 as monctrl (may need someone else to do this for you -- this will be annoying for testing, we should fix this (PBD) )
- source /home/dibas/dibas.bash
- Run 'player'
- As yourself and from any computer on network, source /home/dibas/dibas.bash and run 'dibas_status'. This will let you check that things are being configured properly
- Launch and interact with the dealer
- As yourself, ans from any computer on network, source /home/dibas/dibas.bash
- if python2.7 directories under /opt/local already exist in your PYTHONPATH this seems to break things. A workaround is to 'unset PYTHONPATH' before sourcing dibas.bash (PBD 2015/02/27)
- Run 'dealer' to bring up an ipython session with the dealer and player tools pre-loaded
- Connect to the dealer using 'd = Dealer()'
- Connect to the player using 'p = d.players['BANKA'] (note that different banks can be specified here)
- Set the desired mode using 'p.set_mode(<MODENAME>); for a list of available modes type 'd.list_modes()' or check /home/dibas/etc/config/dibas.conf
- Set other parameters; for a list type 'p.help_params()'
- To start, type 'p.prepare()' followed by 'p.start()'
- Check dibas_status to find which directory your data is being written to.
RichardPrestage comments: for each of these sections it would be nice to have subsections:
- how precisely to invoke the test
- what to look for during the test
- how to run any necessary data analysis software
- expected results, or how to compare to a "standard" data set.
- other useful notes
Tests of the data coming from the FPGA systems that do not depend on the "real" software.
- Use udp_recvor similar low-level software to inspect data packets directly:
- Check basic packet format (number of bytes, counter values, etc) look as expected.
- Check that packet counter increments as expected, and resets on arm.
- Check that data packets are being received at the correct rate at all expected destinations.
- Use FPGA data-capture blocks(?)
- Check ADC histograms
- Check spectrum for expected shape (no spurs, tone shows up in correct channel, etc).
- For coherent modes, can use
guppi2_stream library to generate/inspect spectrum.
Tests of the software components that do not depend on having the "real" hardware.
- Can use
udp_send or similar to generate data packets for testing.
- Check that everything runs as expected (ie, no errors/segfaults/etc).
- Check that software components create readable output files
- Verify with standard data-processing packages (PSRCHIVE, presto, fold_psrfits)
- Check that software can keep up with expected data rates.
Integrating SW and HW
- Test M&C framework for loading FPGA designs
- Test code for loading parameters, read back correct values.
Testing with locally generated signals
Tests of the full system using lab-generated input signals.
- Sine-wave input
- Input sine wave(s), check that they appear at the correct freq in output files
- Artificial pulsar
- Uses python scripts in /users/pdemores/dibas/test_scriptsto test various modes
- NOTE: These scripts may need to be edited for VEGAS
- Check scripts for hard-coded parameters (e.g. observer, project ID) before running
- test_codd.py tests a single coherent dedispersion mode
- test_codd_multi.py tests a single mode and multiple VEGAS Banks
- testy.py tests a single incoherent dedispersion mode
- codd_loop.py tests coherent dedispersion modes
- inco_loop.py tests incoherent modes
- loopy.py tests multiple scans of a single mode
- Check that correct pulse period is recovered
- If the data are on search mode, they will need to be folded first. PRESTO or PSRCHIVE can be used for this:
- If using PRESTO, run a command like prepfold -p <period> -nosearch -npart 60 <filenames>
- If using PSRCHIVE, run a command like fold_psrfits -t 10 -F <freq> <filenames>
- Visually inspect the folded profiles
- If using PRESTO, open the output poscript file (*.pfd.ps)
- If using PSRCHIVE, use pav
- pav -DFT displays integrated pulse profile
- pav -YFpd displays phase vs time
- pav -GTpd displays phase vs frequency
- Does the pulse appear stable in phase?
- Are there any dropouts or gaps in the data?
- Calculate TOAs
- Will need to make a standard template
- If using PRESTO run a command like get_TOAs.py -g <template> -n 6 <pfdfile> where <pfdfile> is the PRESTO *.pfd output
- If using PSRCHIVE run a command like pat -F -f princeton -s <template> <filenames> where <filenames> are the folded fits files
- Use Tempo to recover the pulse period
- Make a dummy parfile with the expected period
- Make a tim file using the TOAs (Should the site code be set to @ (i.e., barycenter) for the test pulsar?
- Run tempo -f <parfile> <timfile>. The fitted period should be correct and the residuals should be flat.
- Run long (multiple-hour) test, check for time jumps
- Follow the same procedure as above and check the Tempo output for any jumps
- Run multiple-restart test, check for consistent pulse phase
- Polarization response (needs correlated signal; AP can be used for this)
- Check cross-term phase stability during long test
- Check cross-term phase stability on multiple restarts
Testing with astronomical signals
Tests of the full system using real telescope signals.
- Observe a test pulsar (preferably an MSP; B1937+21 is ideal).
- Make sure pulsar is detected in all modes
- Make sure timing aligns correctly between different modes, restarts, etc
- Long (multi-hour) test in certain modes?