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Proceedings Paper

Distributed software correlator at the rapid prototyping array
Author(s): Gerald R. Harp
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Paper Abstract

The Rapid Prototyping Array (RPA) is a toy radio telescope located 30 miles from U. C. Berkeley in Lafayette, CA. It serves primarily as a software development test bed for the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). We have developed a minimally functional prototype of the ATA control system founded on C++, Java, and a CORBA-based distributed architecture. The system controls RPA pointing, electronics, and data processing, culminating in a real-time software correlator (i.e. an imaging system). This system has helped us characterize our preliminary design of the ATA control system. Overall, the distributed architecture provided successful, versatile control supporting a wide range of experiments from satellite tracking to beam characterization to celestial observation. However, some weaknesses in the CORBA communications layer were identified, and the synergies of mixing C++ and Java were balanced by paradigm mismatch between the languages. We learned that Java was as fast as C++ and supported more ready-made libraries. Based on these experiences, we changed our design to eliminate CORBA and build a pure Java system at the ATA, which is now under development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 December 2002
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4848, Advanced Telescope and Instrumentation Control Software II, (13 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.460949
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald R. Harp, SETI Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4848:
Advanced Telescope and Instrumentation Control Software II
Hilton Lewis, Editor(s)

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