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4 November 1982 Performance Of The Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) IV. MMT Computer Systems
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Operation of the MMT is heavily dependent on the use of computers for a variety of tasks. An altitude azimuth mount requires the ongoing conversion of celestial coordinates into local terrestrial coordinates. A sixteen bit minicomputer performs the conversion, compares the resulting commanded position with the current position readout by a digital encoder and generates an error signal to servo the telescope drives. The telescope co-alignment system (TCS) uses a computer to analyze a digitized television frame and control the tilt and focus of each of the six telescope secondary mirrors. All of the data at the MMT is collected by digitizing signals from photoelectric detectors in the astronomical instrumentation. (The MMT has no photographic darkroom facilities.) A computer with several peripherals to aid in display and analysis of data is dedicated to the data collection task. Our approach is to use three independent computers which can communicate over digital links. Each computer is dedicated to a specific, clearly identified task: tracking, coaligning, and data collection. It is clear that computers are an essential component of the MMT. The MMT has even been described as a large peripheral device Software for the systems is written in a sophisticated dialect of FORTH which allows multitasking.
© (1982) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
W. P. Goring, D. K. Gilmore, D. B. McClain, and J. W. Montgomery "Performance Of The Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) IV. MMT Computer Systems", Proc. SPIE 0332, Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes I, (4 November 1982);


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