MACE Camera Electronics: Control, Monitoring & Safety Mechanisms
MACE Telescope installed in Ladakh Region of India comprises of many functionally diverse subsystems, Camera being the most important one. Mounted at the focal plane of 21 m diameter parabolic reflector dish, event driven Camera system comprises of 1088 PMTs, with 16 PMTs constituting one Camera Integrated Module (CIM). Central Camera Controller (CCC), located in Camera housing, manages and coordinates all the actions of these 68 Modules and other camera subsystems as per the command sequence
... ceived from Operator Console. In addition to control and monitoring of subsystems, various mechanisms have been implemented in hardware as well as embedded firmware of CCC and CIM to provide safety of PMTs against exposure to ambient bright light, bright star masking and detection and recovery from loss of event synchronization at runtime. An adequate command response protocol with fault tolerant behavior has also been designed to meet performance requirements. The paper presents the overall architecture and flow of camera control mechanisms with a focus on software and hardware challenges involved. Various experimental performance parameters and results will be presented.