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10 July 2018 Timekeeping infrastructure for the Catalina Sky Survey
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Time domain science forms an increasing fraction of astronomical programs at many facilities. Synoptic and targeted observing modes of transient, varying, and moving sources rely on precise clocks to provide the underlying time tags. Often precision is mistaken for accuracy, or the precise time signals never reach the instrumentation in the first place. We will discuss issues of deploying a stable high-precision GNSS clock on a remote mountaintop, and of conveying the resulting time signals to a computer in a way that permits hardware timestamping of the camera shutter (or equivalent) rather than the arbitrary delays encountered with non-real-time data acquisition software. Strengths and limitations of the Network Time Protocol will be reviewed. Timekeeping infrastructure deployed for the Catalina Sky Survey will serve as an example.
Conference Presentation
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert L. Seaman and Alex R. Gibbs "Timekeeping infrastructure for the Catalina Sky Survey", Proc. SPIE 10704, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII, 1070408 (10 July 2018);

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