Configure Software

The Configure software allows observers to prepare input files for the 2dF fibre positioner. It reads an ASCII formatted catalogue and allows observers to automatically or manually allocate fibres to targets using a graphical user interface. Binary files can be saved which are then used to set 2dF up for observing.


Current Version

The current version of Configure is 8.4; it is a version for AAOmega, HERMES, 2dF, 6dF, and Ozpoz and may be downloaded from the ftp site.The latest version checks and enforces the maximum object name and comment length of 79 characters. The current version of Configure implements a Simulated Annealing (SA) algorithm. This provides:

  1. Increased yields for complex fields
  2. Optimal target priority weighting
  3. Highly uniform and quantified sampling behaviour
  4. High completeness for fibre pairs when allocating a field for Cross Beam-Switching observations

The advantages of SA are explored thoroughly in Miszalski, Shortridge and Saunders et al. (MNRAS, 2006, 371, 1537), and are summarized in an article in the February 2006 AAO Newsletter.

Installing Configure

To install, tar and unzip the appropriate gzipped (.tar.gz) file. e.g. for the Linux (32 or 64 bit) version:

tar -zxvf configure-8.#.Linux-Intel64bit.tar.gz

Then to run Configure, first set the environment variable:

> tcsh
> setenv CONFIG_FILES /path/configure-8.#.Linux/data_files/

Download the relevant astrometry files (see below) to this CONFIG_FILES directory. Then


For Mac OsX, there are versions for Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite and ElCapitan. Move the untarred and unzipped directory to /Applications/ and Configure can be run by double-clicking "Configure" in its directory. You can also choose to install it in the directory of your choice. After setting the PATH environment variable and the CONFIG_FILES environment variable, simply type configure. 

For Configure to run, you will also need files giving the 2dF astrometry model: tdFlinear0.sds, tdFlinear1.sds which are the linear astrometric coefficients for plate 0 and plate 1, respectively; tdFdistortion0.sds, tdFdistortion1.sds are the distortion maps for plate 0 and plate 1, respectively. You will also need the current fibre information (availability and park positions for all fibres [1-400]): tdFconstantsDF.sds. Unless you are configuring on an AAT computer, you should get the most recent version of these files. They can be fetched by anonymous ftp from the AAO from Please configure your fields with the latest astrometric and fibre information.

NOTE: Even if you do use the most current fibre and astrometric information, you will still have to tweak your fields at the telescope, since things can and do change on very short notice. This is especially true at the start of your run.

Running Configure

See the Configure CookBook to get started.


Bugs in Configure

Bug reports about Configure should be addressed to the AAOmega team.