MONSOON is the next generation OUV-IR controller development project being conducted at NOAO. MONSOON was designed from the start as an "architecture" that provides the flexibility to handle multiple detector types, rather than as a set of specific hardware to control a particular detector. The hardware design was done with maintainability and scalability as key factors. We have, wherever possible chosen commercial off-the-shelf components rather than use in-house or proprietary systems.
From first principles, the software design had to be configurable in order to handle many detector types and focal plane configurations. The MONSOON software is multi-layered with simulation of the hardware built in. By keeping the details of hardware interfaces confined to only two libraries and by strict conformance to a set of interface control documents the MONSOON software is usable with other hardware systems with minimal change. In addition, the design provides that focal plane specific details are confined to routines that are selected at load time.
At the top-level, the MONSOON Supervisor Level (MSL), we use the GPX dictionary, a defined interface to the software system that instruments and high-level software can use to control and query the system. Below this are PAN-DHE pairs that interface directly with portions of the focal plane. The number of PAN-DHE pairs can be scaled up to increase channel counts and processing speed or to handle larger focal planes. The range of detector applications supported goes from single detector LAB systems, four detector IR systems like NEWFIRM, up to 500 CCD focal planes like LSST. In this paper we discuss the design of the PAN software and it's interaction with the detector head electronics.