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Proceedings Paper

The South African Astronomical Observatory instrumentation software architecture and the SHOC instruments
Author(s): Carel van Gend; Briehan Lombaard; Amanda Sickafoose; Hamish Whittal
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Paper Abstract

Until recently, software for instruments on the smaller telescopes at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) has not been designed for remote accessibility and frequently has not been developed using modern software best-practice. We describe a software architecture we have implemented for use with new and upgraded instruments at the SAAO. The architecture was designed to allow for multiple components and to be fast, reliable, remotely- operable, support different user interfaces, employ as much non-proprietary software as possible, and to take future-proofing into consideration. Individual component drivers exist as standalone processes, communicating over a network. A controller layer coordinates the various components, and allows a variety of user interfaces to be used. The Sutherland High-speed Optical Cameras (SHOC) instruments incorporate an Andor electron-multiplying CCD camera, a GPS unit for accurate timing and a pair of filter wheels. We have applied the new architecture to the SHOC instruments, with the camera driver developed using Andor's software development kit. We have used this to develop an innovative web-based user-interface to the instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 July 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9913, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy IV, 99130R (26 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231403
Show Author Affiliations
Carel van Gend, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Briehan Lombaard, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Amanda Sickafoose, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Hamish Whittal, Amazon Development Ctr. (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9913:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy IV
Gianluca Chiozzi; Juan C. Guzman, Editor(s)

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