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Proceedings Paper

Facing software complexity on large telescopes
Author(s): Gerhard Swart; Deon Bester; Janus Brink; Clifford Gumede; Hendrik J. Schalekamp
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Paper Abstract

The successful development of any complex control system requires a blend of good software management, an appropriate computer architecture and good software engineering. Due to the large number of controlled parts, high performance goals and required operational efficiency, the control systems for large telescopes are particularly challenging to develop and maintain. In this paper the authors highlight some of the specific challenges that need to be met by control system developers to meet the requirements within a limited budget and schedule. They share some of the practices applied during the development of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and describe specific aspects of the design that contribute to meeting these challenges. The topics discussed include: development methodology, defining the level of system integration, computer architecture, interface management, software standards, language selection, user interface design and personnel selection. Time will reveal the full truth, but the authors believe that the significant progress achieved in commissioning SALT (now 6 months from telescope completion), can largely be attributed to the combined application of these practices and design concepts.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5496, Advanced Software, Control, and Communication Systems for Astronomy, (15 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551455
Show Author Affiliations
Gerhard Swart, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Deon Bester, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Janus Brink, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Clifford Gumede, SALT Foundation (South Africa)
Hendrik J. Schalekamp, SALT Foundation (South Africa)

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

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