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Paper: A Graphical Front End for the WIYN Telescope Engineering Data System
Volume: 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV
Page: 140
Authors: Percival, J. W.
Abstract: The WIYN 3.5m Telescope Control System features a platform independent, network transparent protocol for distributing telescope control data to both local and remote sites. This Engineering Data Subsystem (EDS) can be run in both a burst mode, providing a short (10s) sampling of 5-axis servo data at the full 200Hz bandwidth of the system, and a slower (1Hz) archive mode, which is used to monitor and record control system data during a whole operating session. The EDS provides over 200 telescope monitors of use to astronomers, engineers, and system designers including pointing performance data, servo and mechanical data, and software state data. The general popularity of this data resource called for a easy way for casual users and experts alike to select data files and particular telescope monitors, graph time-series data, and do simple data manipulations such as pan, zoom, differentiation, and Fourier Transforms. In addition, the inherently distributed nature of the EDS called for a solution that was portable across platforms and operating systems that were in common use by any of the WIYN consortium members. We have developed a simple but powerful Graphical User Interface to satisfy these needs. It uses the Tk graphical toolkit language and common UNIX tools such as shell scripts, grep, and awk to achieve a lightweight but effective solution to the problem of accessing the EDS\@. The data selection portion of the interface is separate from the graphical manipulation part, which allows both standalone use of the graphing widget in other applications as well as using it with different data selection front ends designed for other telescope systems and scientific instruments.
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