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21 July 2008 PLATO control and robotics
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PLATO, the 'PLATeau Observatory', is a robotic Antarctic observatory developed by UNSW for deployment to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. PLATO is designed to run autonomously for up to a year, providing power, communications and thermal management for a suite of scientific and site-testing instruments. To achieve this degree of autonomy, multiple-redundant Linux-based 'supervisor' computers, each with their own watchdog-timer and Iridium satellite-modem, communicate with each other and with the outside world. The active supervisor computer monitors and controls the PLATO power distribution, thermal and engine management subsystems via a CAN (Control Area Network) bus. High-bandwidth communication between the instruments and the supervisor computers is via a 100 Mbps Local Area Network. Data is stored in cold-verified flash memory. The PLATO computers monitor up to 140 analog channels and distribute electrical power and heating to 96 current-monitored channels via an intelligent load-shedding algorithm.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Daniel M. Luong-Van, Michael C. B. Ashley, Jon R. Everett, Jon S. Lawrence, and John W. V. Storey "PLATO control and robotics", Proc. SPIE 7019, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II, 70192U (21 July 2008);


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