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Using APT to Write Big Phase II Programs

There are numerous challenges when creating a big Phase II program. This advice is sorted into the different stages of writing the program. Please feel free to contact us (through help@stsci.edu) if you need more advice or help.

Computer strategies

Strategies for creating a big program

1) Use APT to perfect a template visit (or subset of a visit). Use the Orbit Planner and Visit Planner to make sure the template is as close to what you need as possible.

then

2) Create your copies by one of three methods:

a) Use the Edit>Multiple Duplicate feature to create large numbers of similar exposures or visits.

or

b) Use the File>Export>Export Text Proposal feature to create the new text representation of your perfected 1 visit program. Then use a script or text editor to create duplicates and import the program back into APT.

or

c) If you are creating a mosaic, consider using the new mosaic building capability. Watch the mosaic training movie to get a sense of the capabilities.

Strategies for repetitive editing

Reguardless of how you created your big program in the first place, you may find that you need to make a small repetitive change to lots of exposures later on (like change the CR-split on all the exposures). This could be very tedious with the Form Editor. Alternatives to consider:

Strategies for reviewing

It can be hard to see what you need to see when you have written a big proposal. Here are some tips:

Strategies for processing

If you find you are having trouble processing the program (running the Orbit Planner and Visit Planner with the "Run All Tools" button) here are some suggestions:

If you run into memory problems

If you have been editing for a while and all of the sudden every click takes much longer you are probably having a memory problem. Click on Help>Show Memory Monitor. Click on the "GC" (garbage collect) button at the bottom of the window a couple of times. You should then save your program. For a fuller discussion please see the APT Memory Issues page.