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Proceedings Paper

PLATO control and robotics
Author(s): Daniel M. Luong-Van; Michael C. B. Ashley; Jon R. Everett; Jon S. Lawrence; John W. V. Storey
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Paper Abstract

PLATO, the 'PLATeau Observatory', is a robotic Antarctic observatory developed by UNSW for deployment to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. PLATO is designed to run autonomously for up to a year, providing power, communications and thermal management for a suite of scientific and site-testing instruments. To achieve this degree of autonomy, multiple-redundant Linux-based 'supervisor' computers, each with their own watchdog-timer and Iridium satellite-modem, communicate with each other and with the outside world. The active supervisor computer monitors and controls the PLATO power distribution, thermal and engine management subsystems via a CAN (Control Area Network) bus. High-bandwidth communication between the instruments and the supervisor computers is via a 100 Mbps Local Area Network. Data is stored in cold-verified flash memory. The PLATO computers monitor up to 140 analog channels and distribute electrical power and heating to 96 current-monitored channels via an intelligent load-shedding algorithm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7019, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II, 70192U (21 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788557
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel M. Luong-Van, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
Michael C. B. Ashley, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
Jon R. Everett, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
Jon S. Lawrence, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)
John W. V. Storey, Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7019:
Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II
Alan Bridger; Nicole M. Radziwill, Editor(s)

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