CIRCE is a near-infrared (1-2.5 micron) imager (including low-resolution spectroscopy and polarimetery) in operation as a visitor instrument on the Gran Telescopio Canarias 10.-4m tele scope. It was built largely by graduate students and postdocs, with help from the UF Astronomy engineering group, and is funded by the University of Florida and the U.S. National Science Foundation. CIRCE is helping to fill the gap in time between GTC first light and the arrival of EMIR, and will also provide the following scientific capabilities to compliment EMIR after its arrival: high-resolution imaging, narrowband imaging, high-time-resolution photometry, polarimetry, and low-resolution spectroscopy. There are already scientific results from CIRCE, some of which we will review. Additionally, we will go over the observing modes of CIRCE, including the two additional modes that were added during a service and upgrading run in March 2016.
The "Gran Telescopio Canarias" (GTC) is an optical-infrared 10-meter segmented mirror telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) observatory in Canary Islands (Spain). The GTC Control System (GCS) is continuously evolving to enhance the operational efficiency. In this work we present the new GCS subsystem to automatize the guiding setup process, both for Fast Guiding and for Slow Guiding. A set of restrictions (including vignetting and photometric computations) is used to select the stars appropriate for guiding, and a merit function is used to choose the best one. Then, the system computes the optical configuration that fits best the selected star, automatically performs the guide star acquisition process and it closes the guide loop.
The “Gran Telescopio de Canarias” (GTC) is an optical-infrared 10-meter segmented mirror telescope at the ORM observatory in Canary Islands (Spain). The GTC Control System (GCS) is a distributed object and component oriented system based on RT-CORBA and it is responsible for the operation of the telescope, including its instrumentation. The current development state of GCS is mature and fully operational. On the one hand telescope users as PI’s implement the sequences of observing modes of future scientific instruments that will be installed in the telescope and operators, in turn, design their own sequences for maintenance. On the other hand engineers develop new components that provide new functionality required by the system. This great work effort is possible to minimize so that costs are reduced, especially if one considers that software maintenance is the most expensive phase of the software life cycle. Could we design a system that allows the progressive assimilation of sequences of operation and maintenance of the telescope, through an automatic self-programming system, so that it can evolve from one Component oriented organization to a Service oriented organization? One possible way to achieve this is to use mechanisms of learning and knowledge consolidation to reduce to the minimum expression the effort to transform the specifications of the different telescope users to the operational deployments. This article proposes a framework for solving this problem based on the combination of the following tools: data mining, self-Adaptive software, code generation, refactoring based on metrics, Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering and Service Oriented Architectures.
The “Gran Telescopio de Canarias” (GTC<sup>1</sup>) is an optical-infrared 10-meter segmented mirror telescope at the ORM
observatory in Canary Islands (Spain). The GTC control system (GCS), the brain of the telescope, is is a distributed
object & component oriented system based on RT-CORBA and it is responsible for the management and operation of the
telescope, including its instrumentation. On the other hand, the Human motor cortex (HMC) is a region of the cerebrum
responsible for the coordination of planning, control, and executing voluntary movements. If we analyze both systems, as
far as the movement control of their mechanisms and body parts is concerned, we can find extraordinary similarities in
their architectures. Both are structured in layers, and their functionalities are comparable from the movement conception
until the movement action itself: In the GCS we can enumerate the Sequencer high level components, the Coordination
libraries, the Control Kit library and the Device Driver library as the subsystems involved in the telescope movement
control. If we look at the motor cortex, we can also enumerate the primary motor cortex, the secondary motor cortices,
which include the posterior parietal cortex, the premotor cortex, and the supplementary motor area (SMA), the motor
units, the sensory organs and the basal ganglia. From all these components/areas we will analyze in depth the several
subcortical regions, of the the motor cortex, that are involved in organizing motor programs for complex movements and
the GCS coordination framework, which is composed by a set of classes that allow to the high level components to
transparently control a group of mechanisms simultaneously.
The GTC1 is an optical-infrared 10-meter segmented mirror telescope at the ORM observatory in Canary Islands (Spain).
First light was at 13/07/2007 and since them it is in the operation phase.
The GTC control system (GCS) is a distributed object & component oriented system based on RT-CORBA<sup>8</sup> and it is
responsible for the management and operation of the telescope, including its instrumentation.
GCS has used the Rational Unified process (RUP<sup>9</sup>) in its development. RUP is an iterative software development process
After analysing (use cases) and designing (UML<sup>10</sup>) any of GCS subsystems, an initial component description of its
interface is obtained and from that information a component specification is written. In order to improve the code
productivity, GCS has adopted the code generation to transform this component specification into the skeleton of
component classes based on a software framework, called Device Component Framework.
Using the GCS development tools, based on javadoc and gcc, in only one step, the component is generated, compiled
and deployed to be tested for the first time through our GUI inspector.
The main advantages of this approach are the following: It reduces the learning curve of new developers and the
development error rate, allows a systematic use of design patterns in the development and software reuse, speeds up the
deliverables of the software product and massively increase the timescale, design consistency and design quality, and
eliminates the future refactoring process required for the code.
Future large and extremely large ground-based telescopes will demand stable geological settings.Remote sensing could
be an unvaluable tool to analyse the impact of geological activity at selected astronomical sites, namely the observatories
of El Teide (Tenerife, Canary Islands), Roque de los Muchachos (La Palma, Canary Islands), Mauna Kea (Hawaii) and
Paranal (Chile) and the candidate site of Cerro Ventarrones (Chile). In this sense, the extent of lava flows, eruptive
clouds or ground deformation associated to seismic and/or volcanic activity could be analysed and characterised through
Seismicity induces ground vertical and horizontal displacements that could affect the image quality obtained by
telescopes in a similar fashion than atmospheric turbulence. In this work, we study the effect of local seismicity relative
to atmospheric turbulence upon the image quality of astronomical observations at El Teide observatory, Canary Islands.
Three different aspects of seismicity are studied, namely regional seismicity (that is compared with other astronomical
sites), seismic noise and possible resonances between seismic noise and the structure of telescopes.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has undertaken the development of Optical Data Relay payloads, aimed at establishing free space optical communication links between satellites. The first of such systems put into orbit is the SILEX project, in which an experimental link between a GEO satellite (ARTEMIS) and a LEO satellite (SPOT IV) will be used to relay earth observation data. In order to perform In Orbit Testing (IOT) of these and future optical communications systems, ESA and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) reached an agreement for the building of the Optical Ground Station (OGS) in the IAC Teide Observatory, which consists basically of a 1-meter telescope and the suitable instrumentation for establishing and testing bi-directional optical links with satellites. The presence of the atmosphere in the data path posses particular problems, with an impact on the instrumentation design. The transmission, reception and measurement functions, along with the overall control of the instruments, are performed at OGS by the Focal Plane Control Electronics (FPCE). The design and performance of this instrumentation is presented, emphasizing the Pointing, Acquisition and Tracking, the Tuneable Laser and the Master Control.
EMIR is a near-IR, multi-slit camera-spectrograph under development for the 10m GTC on La Palma. It will deliver up to 45 independent R equals 3500-4000 spectra of sources over a field of view of 6 feet by 3 feet, and allow NIR imaging over a 6 foot by 6 foot FOV, with spatial sampling of 0.175 inch/pixel. The prime science goal of the instrument is to open K-band, wide field multi-object spectroscopy on 10m class telescopes. Science applications range from the study of star-forming galaxies beyond z equals 2, to observations of substellar objects and dust-enshrouded star formation regions. Main technological challenges include the large optics, the mechanical and thermal stability and the need to implement a mask exchange mechanism that does not require warming up the spectrograph. EMIR is begin developed by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Observatoire Midi-Pyrennees, and the University of Durham. Currently in its Preliminary Design phase, EMIR is expected to start science operation in 2004.