Centre for Advanced Instrumentation

Past: RTC Workshop 2011

AO RTC website setup

An outcome of the workshop was the need for an AO real-time control website.  This has been set up and is available at http://aortc.ast.cam.ac.uk/

Adaptive Optics Real-time control system workshop. This was held in Durham, UK, 13-14th April 2011

Agenda                                                                                                                               Workshop poster

Contacts and committees

Local information                                                                                                   



Adaptive Optics Real-time control system workshop, held in Durham, UK, 13-14th April 2011

The real-time control system (RTCS) is a crucial component for any astronomical adaptive optics (AO) system. The computational demands placed on the next generation RTCSs for future extremely large telescopes (ELTs) are enormous, and even current systems require skill to implement.

The main workshop goal was to gather international AO RTCS specialists in order to share and exchange experience regarding the design and implementation of these systems. Such shared experience can be used to improve the design of new and proposed AO systems, increasing their performance and usability. As such, the workshop was aimed at real-time control specialists, instrument scientists and adaptive optics engineers.  Although the workshop was focussed principally on astronomical AO, attendence of participants from non-astronomical areas was welcome and indeed encouraged to allow cross-discipline discussions to take place.

The workshop included presentations and round-table discussion sessions.

The following topics (and others) were addressed:

  • Current status and updates

  • Computation hardware

    • CPU

    • DSP

    • FPGA

    • GPU

  • Software

    • Real-time implementation of algorithms

    • Standards

      • CORBA/DDS/infiniBand/etc

  • Interfaces

    • Cameras/Wavefront sensors

    • DMs

    • Telemetry and status

  • Platforms

    • Linux, VX works, Windows, OSX etc.

  • User functionality

    • GUI functionality

    • Scripting capabilities

  • Performance

    • Latency and jitter

    • Definition and measurement of

    • System testing

    • Reliability and stability

  • ELT problems and solutions

  • Systems engineering

  • Open-loop system considerations

  • Anything else you can think of...

A DARC practical session (Durham AO Real-time Controller, www.dur.ac.uk/cfai/projects/darc) was held on the day after the workshop (15th April) for people considering using DARC, as there had been sufficient interest to warrent this. This included an overview, a features summary, an installation session, an in-depth look at interface development (cameras, DMs, reconstructors, algorithm development etc) and an explanation of the telemetry interface. 

A follow up real-time control workshop will be held at ESO in Garching, Germany, probably in 2012.  This workshop falls under the auspices of an MOAO RTC working group that was set up in Autumn 2009 at the MOAO working group sub-meeting of the OSA “Adaptive Optics: Methods, Analysis and Applications” conference held in San Jose, October 13-15th, 2009, though is not restricted to, or aimed at, MOAO in particular, rather it covers the whole of astronomical AO real-time control.

opticon image OPTICON Key Technologies Network support

  • poster (last modified: 1 February 2011)PDF