Get the OT

Get the OT



The UKIRT Observing Tool (OT) is a Java-based application for creating Science Programs in preparation for observing at UKIRT. While Linux based operating systems are our lead platform, testing has been performed to varying degrees on Windows and macOS.

As of December 2020, the UKIRT Observing Tool is now maintained and distributed by the IfA as a JAR file named ukirtot.jar (link can be found below).


To run the Observing Tool requires having a version of the Java Runtime Environment greater or equal to 1.8. If you are unsure wether or not you have Java installed and in your path, or which version of Java you have, open a console (Windows users can run a console by going to 'Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt', macOS users can run a console by going to '/Applications/Utilities/'Gnome users 'Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal', KDE users 'K Menu -> System Tools -> Terminal') 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 the latest Java Runtime Environment from Oracle or your operating system vendor.


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 ukirtot.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.


Questions and bug reports should be emailed to

Please note the operating system release and the Java version in your email as you will be asked.

Version-Specific Issues

OpenJDK is known not to work. Oracle’s Java is known to work.