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Proceedings Paper

Motion control solution for new PLC-based standard development platform for VLT instrument control systems
Author(s): D. Popovic; R. Brast; N. Di Lieto; M. Kiekebusch; J. Knudstrup; C. Lucuix
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Paper Abstract

More than a decade ago, due to obsolescence issues, ESO initiated the design and implementation of a custom-made CANbus based motion controller (CAN-RMC) to provide, together with a tailor-made software library (motor library), the motion control capabilities for the VME platform needed for the second generation VLT/VLTI instruments. The CAN-RMC controller has been successfully used in a number of VLT instruments but it has high production costs compared to the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) industrial solutions available on the market today. In the scope of the selection of a new PLC-based platform for the VLT instrument control systems, ESO has evaluated motion control solutions from the company Beckhoff. This paper presents the investigation, implementation and testing of the PLC/TwinCAT/EtherCAT motion controllers for DC and stepper motors and their adaptation and integration into the VLT instrumentation framework. It reports functional and performance test results for the most typical use cases of astronomical instruments like initialization sequences, tracking, switch position detections, backslash compensation, brake handling, etc. In addition, it gives an overview of the main features of TwinCAT NC/PTP, PLCopen MC, EtherCAT motion control terminals and the engineering tools like TwinCAT Scope that are integrated into the development environment and simplify software development, testing and commissioning of motorized instrument functions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 July 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9152, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy III, 915209 (18 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056469
Show Author Affiliations
D. Popovic, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
R. Brast, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
N. Di Lieto, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
M. Kiekebusch, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
J. Knudstrup, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
C. Lucuix, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9152:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy III
Gianluca Chiozzi; Nicole M. Radziwill, Editor(s)

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