The unified GuideCam Tool
What is the unified GuideCam tool?
The unified GUideCam Tool (GUCT) is a Java-based observation preparation tool currently offered for VISIR, HAWK-I and VIMOS. The tool makes use of the Aladin desktop application and allows the user to visualize the instrument Field-of-View on a sky image, define the central pointing of the telescope, plan observations that involve a sequence of telescope offsets, select telescope guide stars, and create ESO compliant finding charts. Furthermore, GUCT can directly interact with P2PP (version 3.4.2 or higher) in order to attach finding charts or to propagate acquisition template parameters, such as guide star coordinates, to the OB.
IMPORTANT note for VIMOS and VISIR users: GUCT replaces and unifies the VISIR-specific GuideCam tool, the VIMOS-specific GuideCam tool, and the Pre-ImageLess Multi Object Spectroscopy (PILMOS) preparation software.
The use of GUCT is mandatory for all VIMOS (pre-)imaging and PILMOS observations.
In general, the unified Guidecam Tool is platform independent. However, if you are planning to use PILMOS please choose the appropriate distribution below. GUCT packages are available for Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.
The current version of the unified GuideCam tool is 1.0.3. It supports the instruments VIMOS, VISIR and HAWK-I. The only difference to the previous release is a change in the Aladin application and a set-up of local links to the required libraries. All users should use this latest release.
To install the unified GuideCam tool, you will need to retrieve the tarball for your operating system, unpack it, and start the GUCT executable. As mentioned above GuideCam requires Java (version 1.8 or higher). Before proceeding with the installation, make sure that the Java executable can be found by the system (try the command "java -version" from the command line), or alternatively define the environment variable JAVA_HOME to point to the installation directory of Java, e.g. with a command such as:
Then, please follow these steps:
- Move to the directory where you want to install GUCT.
- Download the following tarball to the chosen directory:
- Unpack the tarball
gunzip -c GuideCamTool[Version].tar.gz | tar xvf -
This creates a directory structure that starts with:
- Move to the GUCT directory:
- OPTIONAL: if this is not the first time you install GUCT on your computer, first remove the default configuration file from your home directory:
- Start-up the software
If the GUCT control panel and the Aladin sky view panel appear, you have successfully installed GUCT. You can delete the compressed TAR file.
- The Unified Guidecam tool (GUCT) Users Manual is available for download (PDF file)