Observing Tool (Software Installation)

Observing Tool

The Observing Tool is a Java based application for creating Science Programs. This is the software used to create and upload the details (position, time, offsets etc.) of a science observation to our system.


While Linux based operating systems are our lead platform, testing has been performed to varying degrees on Solaris, Windows and macOS.

To acquire and run the Observing Tool requires having a version of the Java Runtime Environment greater or equal to 1.8. If you are unsure whether or not you have Java installed and in your path, or which version of Java you have, open a console and type the following:

$ java -version

Responses such as "command not found" indicate that either Java has not been installed or is not in your path.

It is recommended that you obtain a Java Runtime Environment from Oracle because OpenJDK (including NetX and IcedTea) is known not to work. If “java -version” displays information including the name “OpenJDK”, please use Oracle’s version of Java instead. This gives output mentioning “HotSpot”, for example:

java version "11.0.6" 2020-01-14 LTS
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment 18.9 (build 11.0.6+8-LTS)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM 18.9 (build 11.0.6+8-LTS, mixed mode)


The Observing Tool is now available as a single JAR file which you can simply download using the following link:


Your system may be set up to automatically run JAR files using Java. If that is not the case, you can run the Observing Tool from a console using the java -jar command:

$ java -jar jcmtot.jar


When you open the Observing Tool, it will attempt to connect to the OMP to determine the latest and current minimum versions. The splash screen will initally show “Checking for updated version information…” but after a few seconds this text should be replaced with a message indicating whether your copy of the software is up to date. If it is not, please download a new copy from the link above.

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