SKA telescope manager: a status update


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.

Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy V