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Proceedings Paper

Obsolescence of electronics at the VLT
Author(s): Gerhard Hüdepohl; Juan-Pablo Haddad; Christian Lucuix
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Paper Abstract

The ESO Very Large Telescope Observatory (VLT) at Cerro Paranal in Chile had its first light in 1998. Most of the telescopes’ electronics components were chosen and designed in the mid 1990s and are now around 20 years old. As a consequence we are confronted with increasing failure rates due to aging and lack of spare parts, since many of the components are no longer available on the market. The lifetime of large telescopes is generally much beyond 25 years. Therefore the obsolescence of electronics components and modules becomes an issue sooner or later and forces the operations teams to upgrade the systems to new technology in order to avoid that the telescope becomes inoperable. Technology upgrade is a time and money consuming process, which in many cases is not straightforward and has various types of complications. This paper shows the strategy, analysis, approach, timeline, complications and progress in obsolescence driven electronics upgrades at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 July 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 991022 (18 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231052
Show Author Affiliations
Gerhard Hüdepohl, ESO Chile, La Silla-Paranal Observatory (Chile)
Juan-Pablo Haddad, ESO Chile, La Silla-Paranal Observatory (Chile)
Christian Lucuix, ESO Garching (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9910:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Chris R. Benn, Editor(s)

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