Indian engineers develop software for world’s largest telescope

Thirty Meter Telescope slated to be the world’s largest ground-based telescope

Indian
engineers develop software for world’s largest telescope

Thirty Meter
Telescope
slated
to be the world’s largest ground-based telescope

New Delhi,
October 22 :  The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), slated to be
the world’s largest ground-based telescope operating at optical and infrared
wavelengths, is an international Big Science project with
participation from institutions from the US, Canada, China, Japan and India.
About 70 percent of Indian contribution will be in the form of both hardware
and software for the telescope. Indian entities are engaged in developing
observatory software as well as telescope control system.

Research News

TMT
on La Palma

Software is ready for its future integration within TMT’s software
infrastructure

This week, a key
milestone of software development for TMT was reached with pre-shipment review
of the Telescope Common
Software (CSW), which has been under development for the past two years. This
means the software is consistent with original requirements and design and now is
ready for its future integration within TMT’s software infrastructure.

The software
has been developed by ThoughtWorks Technologies based in Pune. This team is
also developing another software component for the telescope – Executive
Software product.

“It is the
first TMT software component to be completed and ready for shipment. This
achievement successfully shows that working with our India-partner and
India-based vendor development team, we can develop software remotely following
the formal preliminary and final design reviews, while under the management of
the project office,”  said Kim Gillies,
TMT Lead Software Architect.

The CSW package
will be the software communication backbone with necessary for the
observatory-wide configuration, command, control, and status reporting. It will
be layered on top of the IT infrastructure network provided by the future
Communications and information sub-system. The package includes a number of
services, each providing a single required function needed for integrating the
subsystems. Its design made use of open-source resources and provided astronomy-oriented
interfaces. This approach speeding up of the development process.

“We have
built an effective tri-partite collaboration between the main Project Office in
Pasadena, the India TMT Coordination Center (ITCC) in Bangalore and the
ThoughtWorks Company,” said Francisco Delgado, TMT Observatory Software
Project Manager,
in a press statement. “All these teams have cooperated
very effectively. Passing the Pre-Shipment review is a very powerful
demonstration that the software team will be capable of delivering the other
software components in the future.”

Work on another set of software – the telescope control system (TCS) – has entered final design phase following the final design review recently.

It will provide and maintain high-quality stable images to the science instruments located at the telescope’s Nasmyth focal planes.

Though
Hawaii remains the favoured site for setting up TMT, the project has been
delayed due to opposition from a section of native Hawaiians. Following this, the
TMT International Observatory Board has decided to develop a secondary Northern
Hemisphere site on which to construct the observatory. 

This is at
La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. 

By Dinesh
C Sharma

 (India Science Wire)

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