The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project to build two radio interferometers is approaching the end of its design phase, and gearing up for the beginning of formal construction. A key part of this distributed Observatory is the overall software control system: the Telescope Manager (TM). The two telescopes, a Low frequency dipole array to be located in Western Australia (SKA-Low) and a Mid-frequency dish array to be located in South Africa (SKA-Mid) will be operated as a single Observatory, with its global headquarters (GHQ) based in the United Kingdom at Jodrell Bank. When complete it will be the most powerful radio observatory in the world. The TM software must combine the observatory operations based at the GHQ with the monitor and control operations of each telescope, covering the range of domains from proposal submission to the coordination and monitoring of the subsystems that make up each telescope. It must also monitor itself and provide a reliable operating platform. This paper will provide an update on the design status of TM, covering the make-up of the consortium delivering the design, a brief description of the key challenges and the top level architecture, and its software development plans for tackling the construction phase of the project. It will also briefly describe the consortium’s response to the SKA Project’s decision in the second half of 2016 to adopt the processes set out by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) for system architecture design and documentation, including a re-evaluation of its deliverables, documentation and approach to internal reviews.
The Square Kilometre Array Telescope Manager (SKA TM) will be responsible for assisting the SKA Operations and Observation Management, carrying out System diagnosis and collecting Monitoring and Control data from the SKA subsystems and components. To provide adequate compute resources, scalability, operation continuity and high availability, as well as strict Quality of Service, the TM cyber-infrastructure (embodied in the Local Infrastructure - LINFRA) consists of COTS hardware and infrastructural software (for example: server monitoring software, host operating system, virtualization software, device firmware), providing a specially tailored Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. The TM infrastructure provides services in the form of computational power, software defined networking, power, storage abstractions, and high level, state of the art IaaS and PaaS management interfaces. This cyber platform will be tailored to each of the two SKA Phase 1 telescopes (SKA_MID in South Africa and SKA_LOW in Australia) instances, each presenting different computational and storage infrastructures and conditioned by location. This cyber platform will provide a compute model enabling TM to manage the deployment and execution of its multiple components (observation scheduler, proposal submission tools, MandC components, Forensic tools and several Databases, etc). In this sense, the TM LINFRA is primarily focused towards the provision of isolated instances, mostly resorting to virtualization technologies, while defaulting to bare hardware if specifically required due to performance, security, availability, or other requirement.
The SKA radio telescope project is building two telescopes, SKA-Low in Australia and SKA-Mid in South Africa respectively. The Telescope Manager is responsible for the observations lifecycle and for monitoring and control of each instrument, and is being developed by an international consortium. The project is currently in the design phase, with the Preliminary Design Review having been successfully completed, along with re-baselining to match project scope to available budget. This report presents the status of the Telescope Manager work, key architectural challenges and our approach to addressing them.