A Short Rest

During the night of Sunday the 8th of December 2013 a sudden storm at the Boyden observatory caused a power outage that resulted in Watcher taking a rather unwanted shower. Since then Watcher has been undergoing maintenance to several different components in order to bring it back online. Inside Information The telescope software (RTS2) is, by default, a very paranoid piece of code. It contains a lot of fail-safes in order to protect the telescope from a variety of sources. One of these fail-safes is the list of required devices. If communication to one of the required devices is severed then the dome closes and observations stop. The three required devices for Watcher are the rain sensor, cloud sensor and the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If the telescope software loses contact with any of these systems, or if the sensors trigger for rain or cloud, the dome will close until everything is safe to observe again. The Gathering of the Clouds During the summer of 2013, the communication system (polling) between the telescope and the UPS was continually failing. In order to prevent unnecessary dome closures, the UPS was removed from the required devices list. Despite this, the UPS remained functional and provided to the entire system during the frequent power outages that the observatory undergoes. The polling frequency on Watcher has been set to 300 seconds, which is also intended to prevent unwarranted dome closures due to temporary outages in polling the rain sensor. The Clouds Burst Everything happened very quickly on Sunday the 8th, all in less than 2 minutes. The UPS was not fully working, and...