A CTIO Hydra simulator is available for observers to learn how to use Hydra. There are versions for both Linux and Solaris. The Linux version is known to run on Red Hat 6.1+ and S.U.S.E. 6.2+. It probably runs under most new versions of Linux but we have not tested it on any other distribution. We would appreciate observers who try it on other Linuxes to let us know whether it does or does not work.
If you want to use it, point your browser here.
Any comments or suggestions are always welcome!
As far as we know, the simulator works fine. Please let us know if you have any problems. If you don't want to bother downloading the simulator, you can get some idea of what you are dealing with by looking at the most recent CTIO Hydra GUI.
IMPORTANT: If you are using the simulator to prepare for an observing run, be sure to install the latest version since the Hydra code is continuously being upgraded. A new simulator is always generated when the working software is updated. Any version can be used for practice, but if one is generating assignment files for real observing, the simulator must be the same version as the Hydra program itself or the assignments may not work.
When using the simulator for generating assignment files please be sure that the time set in the simulator is the same as the time at which you anticipate the observations will actually be made. If the time is set incorrectly, atmospheric refraction corrections can produce assignment files which will cause unexpected collisions or ask Hydra to go to unattainable configurations.