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Paper: Autonomous Science Instrument Operations: Data Analysis and Processing
Volume: 281, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XI
Page: 328
Authors: Offenberg, Joel D.; Fixsen, Dale J.; Sengupta, Ratnabali; Nieto-Santisteban, MarĂ­a A.
Abstract: An autonomous space observatory offers a new method for efficient data collection. For example, autonomous data analysis allows the system to collect data which meets the required signal-to-noise---if the desired metric is reached early, we can quit and move on instead of continuing an already-completed observation. Similarly, if the observation proves to be harder than anticipated, it can be extended until the desired signal-to-noise is attained; or an obviously hopeless observation can be abandoned. Similarly, a quick-look observation enables the observatory to autonomously select the optimal roll angle to minimize confusion for a multi-object spectrometer. We present a system to perform autonomous data analysis for a large-area imaging array. Cosmic ray mitigation, signal-to-noise tracking, and saturating pixel detection are reliably performed in a ``lights-out'' environment. The software presented is general and can be adapted to many different instruments and goals. The computational requirements are modest and are suitable for use with a flight-configuration computer or in an embedded environment with a DSP.
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