ASTRO.control enables high-end cameras for astronomy
Some of the leading manufacturers of high-end CCD, EMCCD or SCMOS cameras are mainly operating in marktes for life science, microscopy or lab applications and prepare their products for according setups. However, an astronomy setup is usually rather different. This article is about how ASTRO.control enables such high-end cameras for astronomical setups.
Evolution from the SOFIA Tracking System and FPI Instrument
For SOFIA, the "flying observatory", redlogix contributed to the tracking system and recently to an upgrade of the imager cameras. The architecture and functionality of the ASTRO.control platform has technologically evolved from the SOFIA telescope, camera and instrument control systems. This background story sheds some light on the origins of ASTRO.control.
Industrial PC vs VMEbus
Over the past decades many of the more complex telescope and instrument control systems have been based on VMEbus systems. While the VMEbus was a good answer to the requirements for multi-processing, I/O flexibilty and scalability for such systems, the ASTROc.ontrol platform nevertheless sets on industry grade PCs (Industrial PC - IPC) as its basic control computer platform. This article explains the reasoning and advantages of this design decision.
The Instrument Neutral Distributed Interface - INDI is an open standard for device control in astronomy, including a communication protocol. ASTRO.control has been designed to support the INDI device interface and implements the INDI wire protocol for communication with clients. This article gives an overview about INDI.