21 July 2010 SCDU testbed automated in-situ alignment, data acquisition and analysis
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In the course of fulfilling its mandate, the Spectral Calibration Development Unit (SCDU) testbed for SIM-Lite produces copious amounts of raw data. To effectively spend time attempting to understand the science driving the data, the team devised computerized automations to limit the time spent bringing the testbed to a healthy state and commanding it, and instead focus on analyzing the processed results. We developed a multi-layered scripting language that emphasized the scientific experiments we conducted, which drastically shortened our experiment scripts, improved their readability, and all-but-eliminated testbed operator errors. In addition to scientific experiment functions, we also developed a set of automated alignments that bring the testbed up to a well-aligned state with little more than the push of a button. These scripts were written in the scripting language, and in Matlab via an interface library, allowing all members of the team to augment the existing scripting language with complex analysis scripts. To keep track of these results, we created an easilyparseable state log in which we logged both the state of the testbed and relevant metadata. Finally, we designed a distributed processing system that allowed us to farm lengthy analyses to a collection of client computers which reported their results in a central log. Since these logs were parseable, we wrote query scripts that gave us an effortless way to compare results collected under different conditions. This paper serves as a case-study, detailing the motivating requirements for the decisions we made and explaining the implementation process.
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Thomas A. Werne, Udo J. Wehmeier, Janet P. Wu, Xin An, Renaud Goullioud, Bijan Nemati, Michael Shao, Tsae-Pyng J. Shen, Xu Wang, Mark A. Weilert, and Chengxing Zhai "SCDU testbed automated in-situ alignment, data acquisition and analysis", Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 77344F (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857525; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857525

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