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Proceedings Paper

Evolution and adaptation of the VLT data flow system
Author(s): Jens Knudstrup; Karim Haggouchi; Michele Peron; Peter J. Quinn; Pascal Ballester; Klaus Banse; Tim Canavan; Alberto Maurizio Chavan; Nicolas Devillard; Dario Dorigo; Carlos Guirao; Carlo Izzo; Yves Jung; Nick Kornweibel; Cynthia Mavros; Gerhard Mekiffer; Andrea Modigliani; Ralf Palsa; Francesco Ricciardi; Cyrus Sabet; Fabio Sogni; Jakob Vinther; Andreas J. Wicenec; Bruce Wiseman; Stefano Zampieri
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Paper Abstract

The VLT Data Flow System (DFS) has been developed to maximize the scientific output from the operation of the ESO observatory facilities. From its original conception in the mid 90s till the system now in production at Paranal, at La Silla, at the ESO HQ and externally at home institutes of astronomers, extensive efforts, iteration and retrofitting have been invested in the DFS to maintain a good level of performance and to keep it up to date. In the end what has been obtained is a robust, efficient and reliable 'science support engine', without which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to operate the VLT in a manner as efficient and with such great success as is the case today. Of course, in the end the symbiosis between the VLT Control System (VCS) and the DFS plus the hard work of dedicated development and operational staff, is what made the success of the VLT possible. Although the basic framework of DFS can be considered as 'completed' and that DFS has been in operation for approximately 3 years by now, the implementation of improvements and enhancements is an ongoing process mostly due to the appearance of new requirements. This article describes the origin of such new requirements towards DFS and discusses the challenges that have been faced adapting the DFS to an ever-changing operational environment. Examples of recent, new concepts designed and implemented to make the base part of DFS more generic and flexible are given. Also the general adaptation of the DFS at system level to reduce maintenance costs and increase robustness and reliability and to some extend to keep it conform with industry standards is mentioned. Finally the general infrastructure needed to cope with a changing system is discussed in depth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4844, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III, (2 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460665
Show Author Affiliations
Jens Knudstrup, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Karim Haggouchi, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Michele Peron, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Peter J. Quinn, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Pascal Ballester, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Klaus Banse, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Tim Canavan, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Alberto Maurizio Chavan, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Nicolas Devillard, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Dario Dorigo, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Carlos Guirao, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Carlo Izzo, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Yves Jung, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Nick Kornweibel, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Cynthia Mavros, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Gerhard Mekiffer, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Andrea Modigliani, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Ralf Palsa, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Francesco Ricciardi, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Cyrus Sabet, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Fabio Sogni, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Jakob Vinther, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Andreas J. Wicenec, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Bruce Wiseman, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Stefano Zampieri, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4844:
Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III
Peter J. Quinn, Editor(s)

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