The DECam data acquisition and control system

K. Honscheid, J. Eiting, A. Elliott, J. Annis, M. Bonati, E. Buckley-Geer, F. Castander, L. Da Costa, M. Haney, W. Hanlon, I. Karliner, K. Kuehn, S. Kuhlmann, S. Marshall, M. Meyer, E. Neilsen, R. Ogando, A. Roodman, T. Schalk, G. SchumacherMats A Selen, S. Serrano, Jon J Thaler, W. Wester

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper we describe the data acquisition and control system of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which will be the primary instrument used in the Dark Energy Survey (DES). DES is a high precision multibandpath wide area survey of 5000 square degrees of the southern sky. DECam currently under construction at Fermilab will be a 3 square degree mosaic camera mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro-Tololo International Observatory (CTIO). The DECam data acquisition system (SISPI) is implemented as a distributed multi-processor system with a software architecture built on the Client-Server and Publish-Subscribe design patterns. The underlying message passing protocol is based on PYRO, a powerful distributed object technology system written entirely in Python. A distributed shared variable system was added to support exchange of telemetry data and other information between different components of the system. In this paper we discuss the SISPI infrastructure software, the image pipeline, the observer interface and quality monitoring system, and the instrument control system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - 2010
EventSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jun 30 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Blanco
  • CTIO
  • DECam
  • Dark Energy Survey
  • camera
  • control system
  • data acquisition
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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