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Proceedings Paper

An embeddable control system for astronomical instrumentation
Author(s): Roberto Cirami; Maurizio Comari; Claudio Corte; Damjan Golob; Paolo Di Marcantonio; Mark Plesko; Mauro Pucillo; Paolo Santin; Matej Sekoranja; Claudio Vuerli
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Paper Abstract

Large experimental facilities, like telescopes and focal plane instrumentation in the astronomical domain, are becoming more and more complex and expensive, as well as control systems for managing such instruments. The general trend, as can be learned by realizations carried out in the most recent years, clearly drives to most cost-effective solutions: widespread, stable standards in the software field, COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) components and industry standards in the hardware field. Therefore a new generation of control system products needs to be developed, in order to help the scientific community to minimize the cost and efforts required for maintenance and control of their facilities. In the spirit of the aforementioned requirements and to provide a low-cost software and hardware environment we present a working prototype of a control system, based on RTAI Linux and on ACS (Advanced Control System) framework ported to an embedded platform. The hardware has been chosen among COTS components: a PC/104+ platform equipped with a PMAC2A motion controller card and a commercial StrongARM single board controller. In this way we achieved a very powerful, inexpensive and robust real-time control system which can be used as a general purpose building block in the design of new instruments and could also be proposed as a standard in the field.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5496, Advanced Software, Control, and Communication Systems for Astronomy, (15 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550032
Show Author Affiliations
Roberto Cirami, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Maurizio Comari, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Claudio Corte, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Damjan Golob, Cosylab Ltd. (Slovenia)
Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
Paolo Di Marcantonio, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Mark Plesko, Cosylab Ltd. (Slovenia)
Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
Mauro Pucillo, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Paolo Santin, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
Matej Sekoranja, Cosylab Ltd. (Slovenia)
Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia)
Claudio Vuerli, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5496:
Advanced Software, Control, and Communication Systems for Astronomy
Hilton Lewis; Gianni Raffi, Editor(s)

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