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24 September 2012 SDAI: a key piece of software to manage the new wideband backend at Robledo
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Abstract
A joint collaborative project was recently developed to provide the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex with a state-of-the-art wideband backend. This new backend provides from 100MHz to 6 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth, and spectral resolutions from 6 to 200 kHz. The backend includes a new intermediate-frequency processor, as well as a FPGA-based FFT spectrometer, which manage thousands of spectroscopic channels in real time. All these equipment need to be controlled and operated by a common software, which has to synchronize activities among affected devices, and also with the observing program. The final output should be a calibrated spectrum, readable by standard radio astronomical tools for further processing. The developed software at this end is named "Spectroscopic Data Acquisition Interface" (SDAI). SDAI is written in python 2.5, using PyQt4 for the User Interface. By an ethernet socket connection, SDAI receives astronomical information (source, frequencies, Doppler correction, etc.) and the antenna status from the observing program. Then it synchronizes the observations at the required frequency by tuning the synthesizers through their USB ports; finally SDAI controls the FFT spectrometers through UDP commands sent by sockets. Data are transmitted from the FFT spectrometers by TCP sockets, and written as standard FITS files. In this paper we describe the modules built, depict a typical observing session, and show some astronomical results using SDAI.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. R. Rizzo, M. Gutiérrez Bustos, T. B. H. Kuiper, J. Cernicharo, I. Sotuela, and A. Pedreira "SDAI: a key piece of software to manage the new wideband backend at Robledo", Proc. SPIE 8451, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II, 84512D (24 September 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926498
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