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Proceedings Paper

Fully integrated control system for the Discovery Channel Telescope
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Paper Abstract

The Discovery Channel Telescope control system incorporates very demanding requirements regarding fast serviceability and remote operation of the telescope itself as well as facility management tools and security systems. All system capabilities are accessible from a central user interface anywhere, anytime. Although the mature stage of telescope control technology allows focusing more on science rather than on telescope operation, the time and effort needed to integrate a large suite of software modules still impose a challenge to which reusing existing software is one of the answers, especially for advanced subsystems with distributed collaborative development teams. DCT's large CCD camera presents enormous computational problems due to the overwhelming amount of generated data. Properly implemented preventive maintenance and reliability aspects of telescope operation call for historical and real time data in order to determine behavioral trends and permit early detection of failure factors. In this new approach utility monitoring and power conditioning and management are integral parts of the control system. Proposed real time spectral analysis system of sound and vibration of key mount components allows tracking mechanical component deterioration that could lead to performance degradation. Survival control cells and unmanned operation systems are other options being explored for operation in harsh climatic conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5496, Advanced Software, Control, and Communication Systems for Astronomy, (15 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552019
Show Author Affiliations
Oliver M. Wiecha, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Thomas A. Sebring, Lowell Observatory (United States)

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

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