The read-out and control system of the DES camera (SISPI)

K. Honscheid, T. Abbott, J. Annis, E. Buckley-Geer, F. Castander, J. Eiting, M. Gladders, M. Haney, I. Karliner, D. Kau, K. Kuehn, S. Kuhlmann, T. Qian, M. Selen, J. Thaler, D. Tucker, A. Zhao

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


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). DECam will be a 3 sq. deg. 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 the SML inter-process communication software developed at CTIO [1]. For the DECam read-out and control system this software package was ported from LabVIEW to the Python and C programming languages. A 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 architecture, new concepts used in the design of the infrastructure software and provide an overview of the remaining components of the DES read-out and control system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Software and Control for Astronomy II
StatePublished - 2008
EventAdvanced Software and Control for Astronomy II - Marseille, France
Duration: Jun 26 2008Jun 28 2008

Publication series

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


OtherAdvanced Software and Control for Astronomy II


  • Blanco
  • CTIO
  • Camera
  • Control system
  • Dark Energy Survey
  • 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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