8.7. Other AOT Buttons


This is a text field where you may enter any additional information that you wish to save with your AOR. The maximum length of a comment is 500 lines (see also the note below). In general, the Community Support staff at the HSC will only read the comment field if there is a problem with your AORs or if you specifically draw their attention to the note. All the information necessary to execute the AOR should be included in the AOR and constraint parameters.


If you try to paste in a comment of ~3000 lines or more, which is well in excess of the maximum permitted length of comment and you are using a Windows-based PC system, HSpot may crash. This is a Java problem on Windows.

Please use this feature sensibly and make any comments succinct and to the point. The longer the comment, the more danger there is that critical information in it may be missed.

8.7.2. AOR Visibility

Calculating the visibility windows for your AOR, i.e., the time periods during which Herschel can observe the object, is discussed in Section 9.7, “ Visibility Windows ”. If you click this button, HSpot will calculate the visibility windows including the AOT parameters (the extreme edges of maps are taken into account, for example) you have entered, instead of just using the target position.


Please note that in-flight information has shown that the information previously returned by HSpot was too simplistic. Although the full range of visibility for Herschel encompases solar elongations from 60.8 degrees to 119.2 degrees, at elongations greater than 105 degrees the baseplate of the StarTracker is being directly illuminated by the Sun and thus being heated, seriously degrading the pointing performance for several hours afterwards, even when out of direct sunlight. In practice this means that objects with solar elongation greater than 105 degrees have only limited visibility and that AORs longer than 1 hour will be shown as visible by HSpot but cannot actually be scheduled at all in this area. Versions of HSpot from 5.0 feature an updated visibility tool that shows regions of limited visibility where only short AORs can be scheduled.

8.7.3. Save AORs

Save the AORs you have created from the “File” menu function or by clicking on the diskette icon in the icon bar or at the bottom of the main screen. AOR files are saved with the suffix '.aor'. If you do not select a specific directory, HSpot saves these files in the default directories listed below.

  • Solaris/Linux/Mac ~/.hspot

  • Windows XP c:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\hspot

  • Windows Vista and 7 C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\AppData\Roaming\spotherschel

It is important that you save your AORs before exiting HSpot, otherwise, your work will be lost. HSpot does not save AORs or targets to disk automatically. Although saving them is the default option on exiting HSpot, a computer (or HSpot) crash will cause all unsaved work to be lost.