Reporting Observations

What to do after each night of collecting data

Following every campaign event, there are a few final steps that are vital to the success of the project. These are outlined below. Our aim is to have all team complete these steps within a week of each campaign while details are still fresh for all involved.

ITEM 1: Complete RECON Campaign Report Form

For all official RECON campaigns we need every team to file a brief report, regardless of whether you were able to take data or not. This information helps us know which sites were able to take data and to follow up with teams that encountered technical difficulties that we would like to help resolve.To file your report go to the RECON Campaign Report Form.  This form is active for one week following each campaign.  Note that if there are multiple campaigns on a single night you will need to file a separate report for each.

For an update on how things went throughout the network on our most recent campaign, you can check out all submitted reports using the Event Reporting Status Page. This page is active for two weeks following each event.

ITEM 2: Save observation log file

Your observation log data is critical to our efforts to analyze and interpret your video data. We ask that you keep track of you observations throughout the night using a RECON Observation Logsheet.

QHY Logsheet

If you are using a QHY camera, you can use the RECON QHY Observation Logsheet – or any spare piece of paper – to record you observations.  Alternatively, you can use this editable pdf RECON Campaign Report Form (be sure to download first before opening with a pdf editor or web browser).  You should save an electronic version of this information in the directory labelled with the UT date of the observation.  For more details on data standardization for the QHY setup, visit the SharpCap Data Standardization Guide.

MallinCam Logsheet

If you are using a MallinCam, you can use the RECON MallinCam Observation Logsheet – or any spare piece of paper – to record a description and the sense-up value for each video file that you save. You should keep this information together with your video files by saving an electronic version as C:\Users\RECON\Data\YYYYMMDD\YYYYMMDD_log, where YYYYMMDD is the subdirectory where you saved your videos for that UT date. There are two methods for saving this electronic file. Use whichever works best for you and your site, but please include an electronic data log with every video subdirectory that you upload.

  • You can make a scan or take a cell phone image of your logsheet data and save this image file using the filename above.
  • You can provide a txt file describing the video files and observing conditions for the night. You can save the following txt file template YYYYMMDD_log to your RECON laptop (see instructions provided within the txt file). You can then open this template, type in your logsheet data, and select “Save As” to change the filename (see above). As an example, you can check out the following sample text file 20160106_log_SAMPLE. (Note that you can also create a new blank txt file by right-clicking on the laptop desktop and selecting New -> Text Document.)

Item #3: Upload video and log file using RECON Data Transfer Tool

Whether a practice night or an event night, we want your data. After every night of data collection, you should upload your video files and log file to the RECON server at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder.


For QHY setups, the only step needed to upload your data is to connect the laptop to wifi.  Your data will automatically be uploaded to SwRI.  For more information on datafile structure and formatting, visit the SharpCap Data Standardization Guide.


For MallinCam setups, all of your video files and observation log file should be located in the directory C:\Users\RECON\Data\YYYYMMDD\ using the UT date of the observation (see Item #2 above). Data should then be transferred using the RECON Data Transfer Tool.