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19 July 2010 A new control system hardware architecture for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope prime focus instrument package
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The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) will be undergoing a major upgrade as a precursor to the HET Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). As part of this upgrade, the Prime Focus Instrument Package (PFIP) will be replaced with a new design that supports the HETDEX requirements along with the existing suite of instruments and anticipated future additions. This paper describes the new PFIP control system hardware plus the physical constraints and other considerations driving its design. Because of its location at the top end of the telescope, the new PFIP is essentially a stand-alone remote automation island containing over a dozen subsystems. Within the PFIP, motion controllers and modular IO systems are interconnected using a local Controller Area Network (CAN) bus and the CANOpen messaging protocol. CCD cameras that are equipped only with USB 2.0 interfaces are connected to a local Ethernet network via small microcontroller boards running embedded Linux. Links to ground-level systems pass through a 100 m cable bundle and use Ethernet over fiber optic cable exclusively; communications are either direct or through Ethernet/CAN gateways that pass CANOpen messages transparently. All of the control system hardware components are commercially available, designed for rugged industrial applications, and rated for extended temperature operation down to -10 °C.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Chuck Ramiller, Trey Taylor, Tom H. Rafferty, Mark E. Cornell, Marc Rafal, and Richard Savage "A new control system hardware architecture for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope prime focus instrument package", Proc. SPIE 7740, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy, 77403H (19 July 2010);

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