CIMA Latest News
Important news about CIMA
This page gives You some important news about CIMA. For more detailed
news and information, please, check the various web pages available on
the CIMA homepage, especially
the ones containing logs and descriptions of current versions.
The CIMA version history log is the most up-to-date page which lists all changes made to different versions of CIMA.
08 July 2013: CIMA-PUPPI
The PUPPI test version of CIMA has been released.
Please note that this is a test version:
- Some of the aspects of PUPPI cannot be control by CIMA (such as adjusting power). You would have to login to PUPPI and do that manually.
- In case of any error during observation, please be prepared to switch to puppi command line mode. You will need parfile for your sources, and its quicker if you have saved a CIMA configuration file.
- Please do let me know if you will be using CIMA-PUPPI for your observation, so I can keep an eye out for it. If you are new to either CIMA and/or PUPPI, let me know. We can help you with couple of assisted observations.
- Some of the things are new/different in CIMA-PUPPI compared to other versions. So please use the offline version of CIMA to familiarize yourself. IMPORTANT: Please go through CIMA-PUPPI page for more details.
- Please provide me with any feedback, new features you want, documentation etc.
22 April 2013: ProjectID Area
In 'Line' mode, CIMA will look for project directory first in '/share/obs4/usr/', and if not found, then in '/share/obs4/usr/pulsars' . In 'Pulsar' mode, CIMA will first look for project directory in '/share/obs4/usr/pulsar', and if not found, then in '/share/obs4/usr/'.
Current setup wont be affected. Problems might happen if there is project directory both in '/share/obs4/usr/' and '/share/obs4/usr/pulsar'.
So I would seek your help to :
- Just have one project directory. Very Important.
- For pulsar projects, put it in '/share/obs4/usr/pulsar'. For other projects in '/share/obs4/usr/', regardless of the 'line or pulsar mode'. (Just a suggestion)
- This does not have to be done right away, and I will be happy to help with moving stuff around for individual projects .
- Please be careful of merging folder, that might contain same file name, and moving files which might have absolute path for your configuration, cat and cmd files.
13 November 2012: Vacation
Due to injury in my hand I was in sick leave between 07 May - 30 Sep, 2012. If you have send me bugs during this period, I will look into it, but feel free to email them to me again. I am on vacation between 20 Dec - 10 Jan, but reachable through email.
15 March 2012: Version Cleanup for 02 April 2012
- Svnwork, Mocksp, Smart, Old and Untested Versions will be removed from the "Current Version selection window". During the transition period, users can still use these versions by clicking on the "Frozen Version" or by specifying its specific location in the terminal. Read the news below regarding the Frozen Version.
- The Normal version (3.0.14) will be renamed to Old version (3.0.14), and will no longer be the Default version.
- Stable Version (3.3.00) will be the new Default version.
- Users of Mocksp, Svnwork, Untested can use Stable version without any updates. Users of Smart version would have to update their configuration files to use Stable Version.
- Users of Normal Version (3.0.14) can continue using Old version (3.0.14) without any updates. However, users are recommended to use the Stable version, in which case, updates on both configuration and command files are required.
||Update configuration file
||Rigorous updates needed
15 March 2012: Frozen Version
Svnwork, Mocksp, Smart, Old and Untested Versions have been copied over to Frozen Versions. These frozen versions are to facilitate users during the transition process of migrating to a new CIMA Version. DO NOT use these versions on a CONTINUOUS basis, as these Versions will not be maintained.
In cases where you still want to use them, you can do so by clicking on the "Frozen_Versions" button on the CIMA selection window. From terminal use the following commands respectively:
| Version Name
|| Version Number
||cima --a /home/cima/Software/frozen_old_versions/a.1
||cima --a /home/cima/Software/frozen_old_versions/3.2
||cima --a /home/cima/Software/frozen_old_versions/3.1
||cima --a /home/cima/Software/frozen_old_versions/2.2
||cima --a /home/cima/Software/frozen_old_versions/x.x
15 March 2012: Stable Version 3.3
- Stable: A new CIMA version 3.3.00 was released called "Stable". This version is phil's svnwork dated 15 March 2012 with added support for Mock spectrometer including "Time Series" data mode. Details about this version can be found here
01 March 2012: Several Updates
The previous CIMA administrator had to leave and this page has not been updated since. Here is a summary of major updates since January 2009. More detailed information can be found at The CIMA version history log and The CIMA user's log.
- Svnwork: CIMA Version a.1 was released on November 2010 (details). It added further support for the mock spectrometer. It went through upgrades from a.1.00 to a.1.02 (modifications). The latest version number is a.1.02. This is the most up-to-date stable CIMA version.
- Mocksp: CIMA Version 3.2 was released on October 2009 (details). It provided single pixel observing with the Mock spectrometer and introduces the 800 Mhz Receiver. This version went through upgrades from 3.2.00 to 3.2.05 (modifications). The latest version number is 3.2.05.
- Smart: CIMA Version 3.1 went through upgrades from 3.1.02 to 3.1.08 (modifications). The latest version number is 3.1.08.
- Normal: CIMA Version 3.0 went through upgrades from 3.0.10 to 3.0.14 (modifications). The latest version number is 3.0.14.
- Old: CIMA Version 2.2 went through upgrades from 2.2.38 to 2.2.40 (modifications). The latest version number is 3.2.40.
16 December 2008: CIMA version 3.1 ("Smart") released
Version 3.1 of CIMA called "Smart" has been officially released. Among
the new features are better support of the Mock spectrometer for ALFA
observations, some new options for the use of winking cal and
continuous data taking for all spectral line observing modes, some new
command file features as well as the new smart basketweaving observing
mode. You can read about the new version here. Also
note that many CIMA web pages (like the visual guide to
the CIMA windows) already are updated for this new version.
4 December 2008: Two new web pages added
web page describing the data taking modes available in CIMA has
been added as well as a new page
outlining the new 'auto-observing' mode which will be developed for
CIMA version 3.2.
27 October 2008: New default version of CIMA
Version 3.0 of CIMA which so far has been called 'Next' has become the
default version and its name has been changed to 'Normal' as a result
of this. The previous 'Normal' version (version 2.2) has been renamed
the 'Old' version. The old version of CIMA will be available at least
until the end of this year, but all users are recommended to switch
over to version 3.0 as soon as convenient. All observers are strongly
recommended to try out version 3.0 in off-line mode before using it on
NOTE the incompatibility issues with the previous versions of
CIMA! Observers using 2.2 and earlier versions of CIMA are advised
to consider the following four points:
For further information, see this web
- All old configuration files ('.gui', '.iflo' and '.wapp') created by
version 2.2 and older are INCOMPATIBLE with version 3.0. It is thus
necessary to create new configuration files ('.conf') using the new
version. This can be done in off-line mode.
- Source catalogs may need updating if they don't have a a coordinate
type, reference velocity, velocity frame and velocity type defined for
- There has been a number of changes of the command file syntax so most
observers using command files will have to update their command file
- There is a new set of preferences to select from, including a number of
options to customize the log format.
27 September 2008: Even more new web pages
Links have been added to the CIMA software
components web page so that You now can see examples of how the
various CIMA programs appear. This also includes CIMA itself so that
You now can see all windows that You may encounter during Your
observing session (only for version 3.0 of CIMA).
24 September 2008: More new web pages
set of web pages describing new observing capabilities has been
added as well as a new page
describing some common problems encountered when observing with CIMA
and another web
page describing how the different backends are supported from
16 September 2008: New web pages added
A new web
page describing the log formats used both in the CIMA log display
windows and in the CIMA log files has been added as well as a new page
describing buttons and error handling.
2 July 2008: CIMA version 2.3 'Unusable' removed
The development version of the next generation of CIMA (called version
2.3 'Unusable') has been removed since the official version (called
3.0 'Next') is available.
12 June 2008: Next generation of CIMA officially installed
The next generation of CIMA called 3.0 'Next' has been officially
installed. It replaces the 2.3 'Unusable' version which was used for
the development, and users of version 2.3 should switch to 3.0 as soon
as possible. Note that You will have to reselect Your preferences
since there has been a minor modification to the preference
data. Configuration files from version 2.3 will also be reported as
'old' by version 3.0. To upgrade them, make a 'Load and apply' of the
old configuration file and then save a new configuration file.
Version 2.2 'Normal' is the old version. It has been upgraded to be
compatible with modifications to the SCRAMNET broadcasts, WAPP
communication and support library modifications and there is thus
risks that bugs have been introduced. Apart from urgent bug fixes, all
development of version 2.2 has (since long) been terminated. Version
3.0 is the future of CIMA and includes a lot of modifications and
improvements. The improvements come with a price though: catalog files
may need updating, command file syntax has changed and old
configuration files can't be used - new ones have to be created with
the new version. All observers are encouraged to migrate over to
version 3.0, which will become the default version very soon, but
do try it out off-line BEFORE getting on to the telescope to get
familiar with it. The old version will be kept on-line for at least 6
months, maybe longer, to give all observers plenty of time to move
over to the new version. Remember that You always can try out the new
3.0 version in off-line mode to see how it works. Some web pages have
been updated to contain information on version 3.0 (2.3): the source catalog
page, the preferences page,
format page, the configuration
file page and the command file
7 December 2007: CIMA WAPP software, CIMAFITS and WAPP pulsar header
A new version of the CIMA WAPP software has been installed which
enables the WAPPs to run in 'dual board mode', where the two boards of
each WAPP is used as an individual spectrometer or pulsar machine,
thus allowing the WAPPs to cover up to 800 MHz bandwidth compared to
400 MHz in single board mode. As a result of this upgrade, the WAPP
pulsar headers had to be upgraded to include extra information about
the dual board mode. There has also been some bug fixes both to WAPP
pulsar headers as well as to the CIMAFITS headers. Most of the bug
fixes only affects engineering parameters, but one serious bug has
been found and corrected which involves the automatic power adjustment
in single polarization mode for the 'B' channel, which did not work
properly. Observers that have been taking data with the WAPPs in
single polarization pol-B mode either in spectral line or in pulsar
mode should be aware that their data may be corrupted
due to the fact that too little or too much power was going into the
WAPPs during the observation. This bug has been in the system all the
time up until now.
20 February 2007: Mailing list for CIMA news
A mailing list for distributing news about CIMA modifications and bug
fixes have been set up. Anyone interested in receiving such news
about CIMA, can sign up to this mailing list by sending an email with
the word "subscribe" in the header to 'email@example.com'. If
You wish to subscribe using a different address, You can write
"subscribe firstname.lastname@example.org" in the header.
General information for CIMA users
These are a few recommendations to CIMA users:
All CIMA software is run from '
- Check the CIMA web pages regularly before Your observing sessions so
that You are aware of any changes made to CIMA.
- Use the current
CIMA versions page and the
log page to decide which version of CIMA You want to use. Newer
versions (indicated by a higher version number) usually provide new
features, more functionality and fixes to old bugs. However, there is,
of course, always a risk that some new bugs have been introduced, which
is the reason why old versions are kept available.
- If You find a newer version unsuitable or unusable for Your
project, please, inform the CIMA administrator (Mikael Lerner) about
Your problems or concerns so that the newer version can be
fixed. Staying with an old version should be seen as a short-term
- Don't forget that You can familiarize Yourself with CIMA and test out
many things by running CIMA off-line from basically any computer at the
observatory. Don't be afraid of hitting any buttons --- CIMA will simulate
some action for You when run in off-line mode, but it will NEVER send
any commands to the telescope, the receivers or the back-ends.
- Run CIMA in off-line mode once before starting a new
project at the telescope. This will allow You to check that You have a
proper project directory set up for You (the project number should
stay black in the CIMA start-up window --- red numbers indicate that
the directory is missing). It will also save You a minute or two of
telescope time, since CIMA is going to ask You for some preference
choices the very first time You start up a new project. You can also
set up the IF/LO path as well as the back-end configuration and save
them to a configuration file which You can use during Your
- Remote observers are recommended to use
VNC since it
faster and more reliable. See the remote observing
instructions for details on how to use VNC.
software needed by the normal user like '
cima' itself or
alfadatawin' WAPP spectral line quick-look display
have been set-up with links in '
/usr/local/bin' so that
the user should not have to bother about remembering the
path. However, some software parts intended to be used mainly by the
staff need to be called directly from the
All WAPP spectral line data is accessible in the directory
/share/wappdata'. Avoid using names to specific
disks like '
/share/pserverf.sda3/wappdata' since they may
change without warning.
This page is administered by Prakash Atreya
( patreya (a) naic . edu ) and was last updated on 13 November 2012.