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Proceedings Paper

A new control system hardware architecture for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope prime focus instrument package
Author(s): Chuck Ramiller; Trey Taylor; Tom H. Rafferty; Mark E. Cornell; Marc Rafal; Richard Savage
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Paper Abstract

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) will be undergoing a major upgrade as a precursor to the HET Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). As part of this upgrade, the Prime Focus Instrument Package (PFIP) will be replaced with a new design that supports the HETDEX requirements along with the existing suite of instruments and anticipated future additions. This paper describes the new PFIP control system hardware plus the physical constraints and other considerations driving its design. Because of its location at the top end of the telescope, the new PFIP is essentially a stand-alone remote automation island containing over a dozen subsystems. Within the PFIP, motion controllers and modular IO systems are interconnected using a local Controller Area Network (CAN) bus and the CANOpen messaging protocol. CCD cameras that are equipped only with USB 2.0 interfaces are connected to a local Ethernet network via small microcontroller boards running embedded Linux. Links to ground-level systems pass through a 100 m cable bundle and use Ethernet over fiber optic cable exclusively; communications are either direct or through Ethernet/CAN gateways that pass CANOpen messages transparently. All of the control system hardware components are commercially available, designed for rugged industrial applications, and rated for extended temperature operation down to -10 °C.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7740, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy, 77403H (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857152
Show Author Affiliations
Chuck Ramiller, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Trey Taylor, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Tom H. Rafferty, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Mark E. Cornell, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Marc Rafal, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Richard Savage, McDonald Observatory, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7740:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy
Nicole M. Radziwill; Alan Bridger, Editor(s)

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