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Proceedings Paper

Functional safety for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope
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Paper Abstract

Since inception, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) has planned to implement a facility-wide functional safety system to protect personnel from harm and prevent damage to the facility or environment. The ATST will deploy an integrated safety-related control system (SRCS) to achieve functional safety throughout the facility rather than relying on individual facility subsystems to provide safety functions on an ad hoc basis. The Global Interlock System (GIS) is an independent, distributed, facility-wide, safety-related control system, comprised of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) programmable controllers that monitor, evaluate, and control hazardous energy and conditions throughout the facility that arise during operation and maintenance. The GIS has been designed to utilize recent advances in technology for functional safety plus revised national and international standards that allow for a distributed architecture using programmable controllers over a local area network instead of traditional hard-wired safety functions, while providing an equivalent or even greater level of safety. Programmable controllers provide an ideal platform for controlling the often complex interrelationships between subsystems in a modern astronomical facility, such as the ATST. A large, complex hard-wired relay control system is no longer needed. This type of system also offers greater flexibility during development and integration in addition to providing for expanded capability into the future. The GIS features fault detection, self-diagnostics, and redundant communications that will lead to decreased maintenance time and increased availability of the facility.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84443L (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924572
Show Author Affiliations
Scott Bulau, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Timothy R. Williams, National Solar Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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