Gemini Preprint #22

User Interface for the Control of the Gemini Telescopes

S.S. Smith and K. Gillies
Gemini 8m Telescopes Project, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson AZ 85719


A discussion of the interactive operator user interface developed for the Gemini 8-m Telescopes is presented. Topics include the use of a layered synthesized view of the area of interest on the sky, a data driven approach to the control of the subsystems, and an adaptive view on the health of those subsystems.

The synthesized view utilizes information from pre-existing databases; guide, wavefront and scientific detector image data; as well as operating and performance limits. This information is presented to the user in layers, with each layer containing an observer, subsystem or other logically oriented view. The ability to control which layers are presented, as well as which parameters are directly modifiable is vested in both the user and the configuration software. Implementing this above a data driven control interface encourages the use of observing templates. Exhaustive parameter control with parallel realization in the lower level mechanisms results in fast, fine grained and repeatable control.

Combining the major control interfaces, each with a different view of the desired behavior, error in behavior, and possible corrections allows the operator to spend more time optimizing observations, rather than setting up equipment. Maximizing time with quality light falling on the science detectors is a primary goal.

Appears in Proc. SPIE 3112, "Telescope Control Systems".

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Ruth A. Kneale / / August 26, 1997