Request for Proposals for a new Telescope Control System
Yes a text based (e.g. readline) interface is the request. We are not requiring a GUI to the TCS. However note that a command/response interface (e.g. socket) is called out as a requirement in the RfP Statement of Work
We do not have design documents for the previous systems however a brief summary of the current TCS commands is provided as an example. We do not expect that the new TCS duplicates these commands.
No, we do not have preferred frameworks. If recompiling modified TCS source code requires licensing any framework or library components, the cost of a perpetual license for those components should be included in the proposal.
No. The current TCS dates from the late 1990s. Work by contractors in 2014 does not affect this RfP and all of that work is complete. However UH has changed some software, hardware, and wiring. These were done in a somewhat ad hoc way without updating the core TCS. These updated systems include the primary mirror support controller, the secondary focus controller, and the dome (slit/rotation) controllers. Please refer to the UH88 Overview document above for more information and the various interfaces between systems.
The RA/Dec motors are both Printed Motor Works GM16BE with US Digital shaft encoder In addition to the PMW GM16 drive motors (with US Digital quadrature shaft encoders, 5000cpr) the declination has an active preload motor, Inland T-7203. The RA preload is a hanging weight and is not actively controlled or monitored.
Airbag pressure is controlled via Marsh Bellofram 3510 electropneumatic valve (RS-485). An external pressure sensor is read via ADAM 6000 series ADC (ethernet). There is an existing GNU/Linux MCU interfacing the RS-485 converter which may be retained along with the valve and sensor; communication to the MCU to set command pressure/elevation is via TCP/IP socket (ascii). There are 2 air pumps, which can be switched between or disabled via relays by TCS (PCI DI/O cards, which will not be retained).
The two secondary mirrors reside on a single focus stage that is integrated into the telescope top-end. The two secondaries (one for f/10 Cassegrain focus and one for the f/33 Coude focus) are both attached to the focus mechanism via fixed mirror cells that bolt to the focus stage. They do not have hexapod mechanisms and the focus position is the only adjustable parameter on the stage. Note that the Coude focus is no longer used but is in place for balance.
The focus stage motor is a SloSyn AC motor modified to perform as a step motor. Secondary focus stage is via step motor control using Applied Motion STAC-5 (ethernet). This does step counting for relative motion, with absolute position determined by an analog string-pot connected to an Advantech ADAM 6000 series ADC. Existing stepper driver and ADAM ADC may be retained. See answer to Q4.
The tertiary mirror (M3) can deploy into the optical beam and direct the light into one of the two bent-Cassegrain ports. A manual rotation of the thru-Cassegrain rotator is required to direct the light into the other bent-Cassegrain port. M3 is being upgraded during the time the TCS is being developed to allow it to deploy and direct light into either of the ports without rotating the back end. An assembly drawing of M3 is provided in the Drawings/Photo package above (Q3).
Dome rotation is controlled via SEW Eurodrive MTP-B VFD controllers, Modbus RTU. These will be retained. Encoder feedback to controller and TCS is via US Digital HD25A serial encoder which may be retained. Interface to coordinating MCU for dome control is via TCP/IP socket (ascii). Dome shutter actuators are scheduled to be updated with SEW Eurodrive VFDs similar to those used for rotation, however each VFD will control 2 motors (top and bottom of each shutter). The communication to the dome shutters is via ethernet across the dome conductor rings, so an additional MCU will likely be installed as well. The dome slit motors will be SEW Eurodrive DRS71S4/BE05HR, and the dome drive motors are SEW Eurodrive DRN100L4/BE05HR/ES7R.
Each instrument has its own guide camera(s). Each will provide offsets to the telescope pointing at slow rates. In addition there are coordinated moves (e.g. for dithering observations or offsets for sky observations) that must be supported.
There is currently a manual rotator at each of the foci (Cassegrain and two-bent Cassegrain ports). However, they can not be controlled remotely. Currently there are no instruments that need their orientation changed to a particular position angle. Providing a placeholder for rotator functions is optional for the TCS.
We currently use a summit wide weather station (e.g. CFHT/Gemini weather tower). However, we would like to supplement these measurements with a new system at the UH 2.2-meter telescope. Please include a weather station for these purposes.
We use an existing NTP server
Data logging for engineering purporses is done by a system separate from the TCS and logs a variety of parameters and sensors. The TCS needs to support being queried by an external system (e.g. via a socket) for current status and position of telescope systems.
Any housekeeping function that is associated with the control/status/position of the telescope control systems (e.g. encoders, position sensors, and motor current sensors)
Such systems are already in place for monitoring the position of the telescope and dome and are not a required element of the TCS.
Many other items are controlled/monitored via PCI card DI/O which will need to be replaced/upgraded. Auxiliary controls include lighting (2 circuits, relay/contactor), mirror covers (updated system to be installed with simple open/closed input and feedback), flat-field lamp (remote I/O points via ethernet), hydraulic bearing pump (relay contactor, analog pressure sensor feedback), various subsystem power relays, work platform interlock (stow switch), and distributed safety switches (E-stop buttons). Various sensors/modules are installed which use Ethernet connections. These include temperature, tilt sensors, etc. and will in general be retained and not controlled directly by the new TCS.
The aboveTCS must interface with hardware switches for the telescope (elevation), dome slit, dome drive motor stops, and the service/instrument platform interlock
TCS computers and associated hardware are currently housed on the second floor of the building. This keeps heat away from the observing floor. The CSR includes space for cabinets and 19-inch racks. Heat dissipation and cabinet space are general constraints anywhere near the telescope (observing floor or telescope structure). We do not have detailed requirements or thermal budgets available. Cabinet space and heat dissipation concerns are minimal in the observing support rooms, and adequate cable ways exist between these areas and the telescope. Existing control cables going from CSR/computer room to the telescope tube are on the order of 80m in length. Please see the UH88 "overview" PDF provided above.
No. We assume that the boundary of the TCS work is the electrical/sofware interface at the motor. To clarify the text leading off the "Package 2" section on page 11 of the RfP - "Package 2 - TCS hardware subsystems - Provide TCS hardware including the TCS computer, motor drives, sensors, interlocks, and controllers". Drives (motor controllers, amplifiers, for all but dome) and limit switches will need to be installed or replaced.
All relevant subsystems are functional. No mechanisms are seized, misaligned, or have are excessively worn.
We don't have an allocation of the overall system performance (e.g. performance budget) but we provide the RoboAO v2 TCS requirements (see link above) as a goal for the system. Bidders are welcome to include such a budget as part of the work. We expect that the performance of the telescope's mechanical systems will be sufficient to meet the goals outlined in the RoboAO document.
In addition the results from an external audit is available above (McKenna and Henning report).
Not that we are aware of.
No. It is not part of the RfP
No. Any electrical power needed to be wired into a controller (e.g. panel box) will be covered by UH. Please identify connections such as these that are needed.
We will assist you in making reservations at the base camp (Hale Pohaku). Contractors are responsible for the costs of lodging and accommodation at Hale Pohaku (HP) which will be billed by the Institute for Astronomy. Standard rates apply of $156.15/night (subject to change) includes room/meals at HP.
Transportation to the site requires a 4WD vehicle. A number of car rental companies on the island can provide these. Contractors are required to coordinate with the telescope crew for the on-site work.
2020 August 06