Starting and Stopping the Radar

Manual Start-up

To more easily start the radar, there is a script called The name of this script is a goofy reference to a scene in an episode of The Simpsons in which Principal Skinner claims there is an aurora happening in his house. The script takes two arguments and can be invoked as follows:

  • $BOREALISPATH/ experiment_name code_environment

An example invocation to run twofsound in release mode would be:

  • /home/radar/borealis/ twofsound release

Another example invocation running normalscan in debug mode:

  • /home/radar/borealis/ normalscan debug

The experiment name must match to an experiment in the experiment folder, and does not include the .py extension. The code environment is the type of compilation environment that was compiled using scons such as release, debug, etc. NOTE This script will kill the Borealis software if it is currently running, before it starts it anew.

The script will boot all the radar processes in a detached screen window that runs in the background. This window can be reattached in any terminal window locally or over ssh (screen -r) to track any outputs if needed.

If starting the radar in normal operation according to the schedule, there is a helper script called

Automated Start-up

In order to start the radar automatically, the script should be added to a startup script of the Borealis computer. It can also be called manually by the non-root user (typically radar). The scheduling Python script,, is responsible for automating the control of the radar to follow the schedule, and is started via the script with the appropriate arguments


/usr/bin/pkill -9 -f
source $HOME/.profile

NOW=`date +'%Y%m%d %H:%M:%S'`

/usr/bin/nohup /usr/bin/python3 $BOREALISPATH/scheduler/ --scd-dir=/home/radar/borealis_schedules --emails-filepath=/home/radar/borealis_schedules/emails.txt >/home/radar/logs/scd.out 2>&1 &

if [[ $retVal -ne 0 ]]; then
	echo "${NOW} START: Could not start radar." | tee -a /data/borealis_logs/start_stop.log
	echo "${NOW} START: Radar processes started." | tee -a /data/borealis_logs/start_stop.log

This script should be added to the control computer boot-up scripts so that it generates a new set of scheduled commands.

Stopping the Radar

There are several ways to stop the Borealis radar. They are ranked here from most acceptable to last-resort:

  1. Run the script from the Borealis project directory. This script kills the scheduling server, removes all entries from the schedule and kills the screen session running the Borealis software modules.

  2. While viewing the screen session running the Borealis software modules, type ctrl-A, ctrl-\. This will kill the screen session and all software modules running within it.

  3. Restart the Borealis computer. NOTE In a normal circumstance, the Borealis software will start back up again once the computer reboots.

  4. Shut down the Borealis computer.