18 July 2014 The upgrade of an educational observatory control system with a PLC-based architecture
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Abstract
A Celestron C14 telescope equipped with a robotic Paramount ME equatorial mount is being used for public outreach at the Basovizza site of the INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Trieste. Although the telescope could be fully remotely controlled, the control of the instrumentations and the movement of the main motor of the dome requires the physical presence of an operator. To overcome this limitation the existing control system has been upgraded using a Beckhoff PLC to allow the remote control of the whole instrumentation, including the management of the newly installed weather sensor and the access to the telescope area. Exploiting the decentralization features typical of a PLC based solution, the PLC modules are placed in two different racks, according to the function to be controlled. A web interface is used for the communication between the user and the instrumentation. The architecture of this control system will be presented in detail in this paper.
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V. Baldini, V. Baldini, R. Cirami, R. Cirami, I. Coretti, I. Coretti, P. Di Marcantonio, P. Di Marcantonio, S. Galeotta, S. Galeotta, G. Iafrate, G. Iafrate, M. Mannetta, M. Mannetta, P. Santin, P. Santin, } "The upgrade of an educational observatory control system with a PLC-based architecture", Proc. SPIE 9152, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy III, 915229 (18 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054909; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054909
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