FlashCam is an innovative camera designed for the focal plane instrumentation of Cherenkov telescopes. The concept of the FlashCam trigger and readout system is based on the continuous digitization and digital processing of the photo detector signals on FPGAs, and on a high performance, Ethernet-based front-end readout. Because of the modular design, the electronics that have been developed can serve either photomultiplier tubes or silicon-based photon detectors. In the framework of the CTA (Cherenkov telescope array) project, the FlashCam team has developed a PMT-based camera that is suitable for the medium-sized telescopes. With over 100 Cherenkov telescopes, the CTA observatory will run the most sensitive ground-based telescope systems for TeV gamma-ray astronomy when the two arrays in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere (with three different telescope sizes) will go into operation in the upcoming years.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is planned as the first ground-based gamma-ray observatory open to the worldwide physics community. The CTA Observatory (CTAO) will consist of arrays of up to 100 telescopes at two sites, one in the Northern and one in the Southern hemisphere, as well as complex and distributed software systems for an efficient operation of the arrays and for the management and scientific exploitation of the CTA data. One of the challenges in the design of such a large installation is to ensure that all the systems that compose the CTAO have well-defined scope and identified interfaces, allowing it to work reliably as a seamless whole. In this contribution, we provide an overview on a methodology for a model-based architecture approach, tailored to the CTA needs, with the main goals to (i) capture the stakeholder interactions with the CTAO, (ii) capture the processes and activities that will be required to successfully operate the CTAO and meet stakeholder expectations, including science operations and maintenance, (iii) agree on a functional decomposition of the CTAO into (sub-)systems and an allocation of the functionality to the (sub-)systems to assign responsibilities and identify interfaces. To accomplish this, we have developed an architecture approach based on process-based system scoping and using a notation based on the SysML and UML formalisms. The different views of the architecture model are presented, each focusing on different aspects of the CTAO. These views contain, among others, stakeholders and project objectives, activity diagrams for describing the CTAO processes, the context and structure of the CTAO system and sub-systems, and their relationships. In this contribution, we will focus on the methodology with a few selected examples.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next-generation atmospheric Cherenkov gamma-ray observatory. CTA will be deployed as two installations, one in the northern and the other in the southern hemisphere, containing dozens of telescopes of different sizes and designs, used for covering different energy domains. These telescopes interact with other systems (e.g. central observation execution software, infrastructure, etc.) fundamental for the Observatory operations. We have created a set of about 70 use cases (UCs) that describe the different type of interactions of a generic CTA telescope with its surrounding systems. These UCs describe different scenarios, from normal night operations to reactions to hazardous situations. Thanks to these UCs we can refine requirements, identify interfaces and specify the expected behaviour of the telescopes. The UCs are also an important ingredient to prepare the test cases for the integration and validation process of the telescopes into the CTA Observatory. This contribution summarises the methodology and tooling we have followed to identify and specify these UCs, as well as the main obtained results.