Simulators and other Tools

These mostly Java programs are made available by the instrument PIs and the SALT team to aid astronomers in the planning of their proposals.

The versions for other operating systems should work on any operating system, as long as Java is installed. You can launch the application by running

java -jar MyApplication.jar

where MyApplication.jar is the downloaded application file.

Java 8 or higher is required. Most of the macOS versions include Java already. (If you have Java on your machine already and want to avoid the additional file size caused by this, use the version for other operating systems instead.)

macOS Users: If you get an error “Unable to load Java Runtime Environment”, please use the file for other operating systems. Assuming the file is called application.jar and you are in the directory where it is stored, you can launch it with java -jar application.jar.

macOS Users: Please see https://astronomers.salt.ac.za/proposals/faq/#phase1_14 if you get an error about a corrupt file.


Visibility Calculator

Check nightly and seasonal visibility of targets.

macOS Users: Please see the macOS installation page, and please try the jar file if you cannot launch the application (see top of this page).


PIPT

The proposal and observation preparation tool.

In case you don’t need NIR or the pg0700 grating for RSS you can still use version 5.6 of the PIPT. Proposals opened in version 5.7 cannot be opened in version 5.6 any longer.

macOS Users: Please see the macOS installation page, and please try the jar file if you cannot launch the application (see top of this page).


HRS Simulator

Calculate signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios and other info.

macOS Users: Please see the macOS installation page, and please try the jar file if you cannot launch the application (see top of this page). Also note that double-clicking .hsim files will not automatically open the Simulator any longer.


RSS Simulator

Calculate signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios and other info.

macOS Users: Please see the macOS installation page, and please try the jar file if you cannot launch the application (see top of this page). Also note that double-clicking .rsim files will not automatically open the Simulator any longer.

 


SALTICAM Simulator

Calculate signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios and other info.

macOS Users: Please see the macOS installation page, and please try the jar file if you cannot launch the application (see top of this page). Also note that double-clicking .ssim files will not automatically open the Simulator any longer.


PySlitMask

Prepare MOS masks using the new SALT mask preparation program.

The PySlitMask tool is part of the PySALT package. More instructions on the use of the PySlitMask tool can be found on the SALT science wiki.


RSMT

Prepare MOS masks using the original SALT mask preparation program.

Please update to Java 10 if you are using Java 9.

MacOS Users: You need to use the Oracle JDK, not the OpenJDK.

Mac OS Users: If you get an error “Unable to load Java Runtime Environment”, please use the file for other operating systems. Assuming the file is called application.jar and you are in the directory where it is stored, you can launch it with java -jar application.jar.

Mac OS Users:  The Java runtime environment is not bundled with the PIPT any longer, so you need to install Java 8 or higher (if it isn’t installed already). If you cannot launch the PIPT from the Applications folder, try rebooting your computer.


Data reduction

Please see the Science Wiki for guidance on data reduction, particularly with PySALT.


Finder Chart Tool

We strongly recommend all users to make use of the Finder Chart Tool, a web interface to easily make clear finder charts.

Note that the tool is actually automatically available from within the PIPT, by merely pressing the “Generate Finding Chart” button at the Acquisition panel of a Block.

If you cannot easily see your target(s), please provide additional finder charts that adhere to the Finder Chart Guidelines.