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Proceedings Paper

Model for the development of instrument control software using EPICS
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Paper Abstract

This presentation describes our experience developing astronomical instrument control software for the Gemini 8m telescopes using the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS). EPICS originated in the particle physics community and is now being used widely in the astronomy community. The differences between the requirements and techniques of these two communities has meant that the development of astronomical instrument control software with EPICS has been a challenge. We explore the different methods used for astronomical instrument control software and describe the method chosen for the Gemini Multi-Object spectrograph (GMOS) software. We have developed an `assembly control' record to contain the high- level intelligence for each assembly and a `device control' record to control each assembly's individual mechanisms. The solutions developed by GMOS can be reused by other astronomical instruments, provided they have similar kinds of mechanism. We describe improvements that can be made to the GMOS records to make them more adaptable and propose the creation of a pool of EPICS solutions for the benefit of future instrument software developers. We also describe the future development of astronomical device control software in EPICS and propose a new hierarchical model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 June 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4009, Advanced Telescope and Instrumentation Control Software, (16 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.388395
Show Author Affiliations
Steven M. Beard, Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
William N. Rambold, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4009:
Advanced Telescope and Instrumentation Control Software
Hilton Lewis, Editor(s)

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