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Proceedings Paper

Strategies for end-to-end modeling of next-generation mm- and radio telescopes
Author(s): C. Marco de Vos; Kjeld van der Schaaf; Marcel Loose; Ger van Diepen
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Paper Abstract

The functional end-to-end modeling of large mm- and radio-telescopes extends beyond the simulation of the physical telescope structures and geometries. The complexity of the RF and IF chains, the digital signal processing systems and the increasing importance of data-processing pipelines forces us to model the full dataflow through the system. This is true is particular for telescopes based on phased array technology, where the physical antenna structure is static and relatively simple. This paper distinguishes between various categories of modeling and simulation. In functional modeling the full functional breakdown of the system is simulated. This allows for the identification of bottlenecks in the flow, gives options for failure mode analysis, for the study of control topologies and real-time responsiveness and for the verification of interfaces and functional behavior. In fact a proper functional model is a virtual mockup of the entire system. This immediately points at a limitation of functional models. They usually do not operate in real-time on representative datavolumes. Analytical simulations take a number of defined shortcuts to generate representative datasets. Such simulations do not describe the system proper, but make motivated assumptions on e.g. the main disturbing factors. It is important to combine the results of the various categories, since they usually serve a mutual verifications. The topics involved are illustrated with the ALMASim and LOFARSim simulators, both built on a generic C++ class library designed at ASTRON for large-scale functional simulations on cluster computers. ALMASim has been used in the feasibility study for the second generation ALMA correlators. LOFARSim is in use as an analysis and verification tool for the LOFAR telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 July 2002
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4757, Integrated Modeling of Telescopes, (30 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.489816
Show Author Affiliations
C. Marco de Vos, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Kjeld van der Schaaf, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Marcel Loose, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Ger van Diepen, ASTRON (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4757:
Integrated Modeling of Telescopes
Torben Andersen, Editor(s)

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