Gemini Preprint #31

Infrastructure of the Gemini Observatory Control System

Kim Gillies and Shane Walker
Gemini 8m Telescopes Project, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson AZ 85719


Construction of the first Gemini 8-m telescope is well underway. The software that provides the user interface and high-level control of the observatory, the Observatory Control System (OCS), is also proceeding on track. The OCS provides tools that assist the astronomer from the proposal submission phase through planning, observation execution, and data review. A capable and flexible software infrastructure is required to support this comprehensive approach. New software technologies and industry standards have played a large part in the implementation of this infrastructure. For instance, the use of CORBA has provided many benefits in the software system including object distribution, an interface definition language, and implementation language independence. In this paper we describe the infrastructure of the Observatory Control System that supports observation planning and execution. Important software decisions and interfaces that allow Internet access and the ability to substitute alternate implementations easily are discussed as a model for other similar projects.

Appears in Proc. SPIE 3349, "Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return".

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Ruth A. Kneale / / March 30, 1998