What do we mean when we refer to Telescope Manager (TM) in the SKA design?
The “Telescope Manager” element includes all hardware and software necessary to control the telescope and associated infrastructure. The TM includes the co-ordination of the systems at observatory level and the software necessary for scheduling the telescope operations. It also includes the central monitoring of key performance metrics and the provision of central co-ordination of safety signals generated by Elements of the SKA. The TM provides physical and software access to, and at, remote locations for transmission of diagnostic data and local control. The TM does not include local control, whether hardware or embedded software, of units (e.g. individual dishes, beam formers, building control systems). It does not include either the generation of local metrics (e.g. tracking stability of dish, power consumption of LFAA).
More about the TM
The TM is another critical work package element identified for the detailed design phase that the SKA project entered in 2013. This three-year long project in design and development, when complete will be responsible for the monitoring of the entire telescope, the engineering and operational status of its component parts.
The TM is also responsible for enabling control of various sub-systems and their associated components, as well as provide and support online and physical access
The scale of monitoring is vast, as the TM will send control signals when needed, detect and manage faults if they arise, control associated infrastructure, and coordinate the handling of safety signals.
In addition to these core responsibilities of monitoring and control, the TM is also responsible for coordinating observations, including telescope operations, operator infrastructure, metadata collection, archiving of collected monitor and control data, and much more.
The TM also links to a number of other work package elements through interfaces and provides the backbone for the functioning of the telescope arrays.
In summary, the TM is responsible for the management of all astronomical observations, management of all the telescope hardware and software systems that perform the observations and facilitating communication across the primary stakeholders, in addition to ensuring safety.
The TM Consortium
There is substantial experience amongst the consortium members in the field of Monitoring and Control, in projects of large scale and complexity. SKA South Africa members are intimately involved in the design, implementation and verification of the entire M&C of MeerKAT. Similarly, the member from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is in the M&C design team of ASKAP. The team members from ATC-STFC were responsible for the Observation Management part of the ALMA telescope, which is currently functional. TRDDC (Tata Research Development and Design Centre) has been developing model-driven software frameworks for a generic M&C systems. This has been tested and implemented on both ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. NCRA-TIFR has built and maintains and runs the GMRT (Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope) and is currently working on upgrading its M&C using a modern hierarchical generic system.
The TM Consortium is led by Professor Yashwant Gupta of the NCRA (National Centre for Radio Astrophysics) in Pune, India,.
Institutions involved in the TM Consortium include:
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
- National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada
- GTD GmbH, Germany
- National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), India
- Tata Research, Development and Design Centre (TRDDC), India
- National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), Italy
- Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), Portugal
- Geo-Space Sciences Research Center (CICGE-FCUP ), Portugal
- SKA South Africa, South Africa
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), UK
Contact information of people involved at each institution can be provided by the consortium lead Yashwant Gupta
Click on the map below to find more information on the institutions involved in the Telescope Manager Consortium