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Paper: Java-Based Astronomical Software - The HERSCHEL/ PACS Common Software System as Example
Volume: 347, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIV
Page: 487
Authors: Wieprecht, E.; Huygen, R.; Vandenbussche, B.; de Meester, W.; Guest, S.; de Jonge, A.; Zaal, P.; Osterhage, S.; Wetzstein, M.
Abstract: ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, planned to be launched in 2007, is the first space observatory covering the full far-infrared and submillimetre wavelength range (60 - 670 microns). The Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) is one of its three science instruments. It employs two Ge:Ga photoconductor arrays and two bolometer arrays to perform imaging line spectroscopy and imaging photometry in the 60 - 210 micron wavelength band. The HERSCHEL Common Software System (HCSS) forms the base of the HERSCHEL ground segment. HCSS is implemented using JAVA/Jython technology and interacts with an object oriented database. It is written in a common effort by the HERSCHEL Science Centre and the three instrument teams. The PACS Common Software System (PCSS) is based on the HCSS. Both systems were designed for a smooth transition between the different phases of the project. Instrument engineers use PCSS during instrument tests, calibration specialists for instrument characterization on ground and in orbit, and finally the observer will use it for data reduction. The design allows use of the same components for automatic processing, quick look analysis, and interactive processing. We outline some design aspects of such a highly complex system and present user experiences with PCSS, gathered during first instrument tests of PACS.
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