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Proceedings Paper

Reliable customized control software in an R&D environment
Author(s): Tom B. H. Kuiper; J. G. Leflang; Thang Trinh
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Paper Abstract

Scheduled among the deep space communications activities of the 70-m antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) are diverse astronomical observing programs with different requirements. For example, the US Space VLBI Project puts great emphasis on reliability for a few well-defined types of observations, for which the software is essentially frozen for the duration of the Project. On the other hand, Solar System Radar research and observations of regions of star formation need ongoing development, sometimes in real- time, of data acquisition and monitor and control software. This paper describes the methodology by which we can allow each user or project a high degree of customization. To do this we rely on a mixture of public domain software and locally developed software. The scheme allows the software configuration in the Radio Astronomy Controller to be switched to an observer's or project's specific configuration within seconds, including specific releases of public domain software. At the core of the Radio Astronomy Controller is a server that controls the R and D equipment. The behavior of this server is largely determined by Tcl scripts, which are customized for the observer or project. An observer working interactively can use a customized Tk client to direct the server via TCP, as well as DSN operational equipment via another server which communicates with DSN controllers. A project or user may alternatively run a client which is specialized for unattended operations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3351, Telescope Control Systems III, (26 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308812
Show Author Affiliations
Tom B. H. Kuiper, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. G. Leflang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Thang Trinh, User Technology Associates, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3351:
Telescope Control Systems III
Hilton Lewis, Editor(s)

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