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Paper: Keck Telescope Control System
Volume: 216, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IX
Page: 261
Authors: Lupton, W. F.
Abstract: The two 10m Keck telescopes run identical control systems, implemented using the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS). The new Adaptive Optics (AO) and Interferometer projects are also partly based on EPICS. However, other observatory subsystems, including acquisition and guiding, primary mirror control, and all the instruments, do not use EPICS. To manage this heterogeneous mix, the high level keyword-oriented Keck Task Library (KTL) was implemented. KTL can run on top of multiple message systems and allows a common API to be used for control, coordination and monitoring of all observatory subsystems. This paper describes several aspects of Keck observatory software, concentrating on interfaces, infrastructure and technologies rather than on technical details. First of all, KTL is introduced, using the telescope control system as an example and illustrating how it was possible to move from the old pre-EPICS Keck 1 control system to the new EPICS control system with hardly any changes to the KTL keyword interface. Next, software for AO and the Interferometer (which uses AO) is described, with an emphasis on automation and the management of complexity. Finally, some new developments are discussed, notably the increasing use of Java and the move towards the use of CORBA.
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