UPAD and OAJ control system installation begins

2012-11-30 10:57
Engineering and UPAD heads supervising the deployment tasks

Engineering and UPAD heads supervising the deployment tasks

The Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA) has installed the computer equipment for the robotic control of the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ) and the storage and processing of the first data that will be provided by the telescopes of the OAJ.

In the first phase, the Unidad de Procesado y Archivo de Datos (UPAD), which is located at CEFCA's headquarters (Teruel), will have 100 TB storage capacity. This unit will be used to store the images that will be generated by JAST80 telescope after the arrival of the scientific camera. In the future, the capacity of this unit will be increased 25 times to store the JST250 telescope data.

Additionally, four computing machines for image processing and two servers that will contain the databases with the scientific catalogs have been deployed. These systems will allow the scientific community to access the measurements of the surveys.

In order to manage the data transfer using the deployed radio link that connects the OAJ and the CEFCA headquarters, two servers, which have been optimized to support the data production rate, have been installed at each side of the link.

To avoid possible failures in the data transmission, the OAJ has been equipped with a unit of 100 TB, two tape libraries to make copies of the images as they are obtained by the telescopes, and two computing machines to make a preliminary scientific treatment.

Moreover, ten servers connected to the OAJ network will be in charge of synchronizing the 65 different systems that compose the OAJ. This control system will supervise and execute the operation and maintenance tasks, providing real-time information of the status of each one of them.

Twenty-two of the systems that make up the OAJ are directly related to astronomy operations (such as domes, telescopes and scientific cameras), while forty-three are associated with the control flow of the astronomical systems and the daily operation of the OAJ.

Axel Yanes, CEFCA's head of engineering, states: “The use of cutting-edge technology allows improving the overall performance of the observatory, minimizing costs and resources. That's why we've designed a global control system that maximizes the performance of the systems integrated into the facility."

The server system also has redundancy in case of failover, so that if a machine is damaged, the other servers will be able to assume its duties until it is repaired.