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Paper: PESO - The Python Based Control System of the Ondrejov 2m Telescope
Volume: 347, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIV
Page: 558
Authors: Skoda, P.; Fuchs, J.; Honsa, J.
Abstract: Python has been gaining a good reputation and respectability in many areas of software development. We have chosen Python after getting the new CCD detector for the coude spectrograph of Ondrejov observatory 2m telescope. The VersArray detector from Roper Scientific came only with the closed source library PVCAM of low-level camera control functions for Linux, so we had to write the whole astronomical data acquisition system from scratch and integrate it with the current spectrograph and telescope control systems. The final result of our effort, PESO (Python Exposure System for Ondrejov) is a highly comfortable GUI-based environment allowing the observer to change the spectrograph configuration, choose the detector acquisition mode, select the exposure parameters, and monitor the exposure progress. All of the relevant information from the control computers is written into the FITS headers by the PyFITS module, and the acquired CCD frame is immediately displayed in an SAO DS9 window using XPA calls. The GTK-based front end design was drawn in the Glade visual development tool, giving the shape and position of all widgets in single XML file, which is used in Python by a simple call of the PyGlade module. We describe our experience with the design and implementation of PESO, stressing the easiness of quick changes of the GUI, together with the capability of separate testing of every module using the Python debugger, IPython.
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