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Proceedings Paper

Design of modular C++ observatory control system: from observatories to laboratories and back
Author(s): Petr Kubánek; Michael Prouza; Ronan Cunniffe; Markus Wildi; Jan Štrobl; Ivan Kotov; Paul O'Connor; Martin Jelínek; Antonio de Ugarte Postigo
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Paper Abstract

For almost a decade we have been developing an open source control system for autonomous observatories called Remote Telescope System, 2nd version - RTS2. The system is currently used to operate about dozen observatories. It was designed from the beginning as the ultimate tool for autonomously performing any possible observing plan on any hardware. Its modular design allows exactly this and enables even more. Currently it is used to control not only observatories but also CCD testing laboratories. We present the internal design of this open source observatory and laboratory control package, and discuss its overall structure. We emphasise new developments and our experiences building a community of users and developers of the package. Design of the system modularity is explained in detail, and various approaches to software reuse are discussed, with a demonstration of how the best solution emerged. We describe problems that were encountered as mirror sizes and associated operational complexity grew. We also describe how the system is being used at a CCD testing laboratory, and detail the quick transition from previously unsupported hardware to fully automated operation. We discuss how the system's evolution has affected code design, and present unexpected benefits it is brought. Our experience with use of open source code and libraries are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7740, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy, 77401V (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857258
Show Author Affiliations
Petr Kubánek, Institute of Physics (Czech Republic)
Univ. de València (Spain)
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalúcia CSIC (Spain)
Michael Prouza, Institute of Physics (Czech Republic)
Ronan Cunniffe, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalúcia CSIC (Spain)
Markus Wildi, Observatory Vermes (Switzerland)
Jan Štrobl, Astronomical Institute (Czech Republic)
Ivan Kotov, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Paul O'Connor, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)
Martin Jelínek, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalúcia CSIC (Spain)
Antonio de Ugarte Postigo, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)

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

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