Software solution for autonomous observations with H2RG detectors and SIDECAR ASICs for the RATIR camera


The Reionization And Transients InfraRed (RATIR) camera has been built for rapid Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) followup and will provide quasi- simultaneous imaging in ugriZY JH. The optical component uses two 2048 × 2048 pixel Finger Lakes Imaging ProLine detectors, one optimized for the SDSS u, g, and r bands and one optimized for the SDSS i band. The infrared portion incorporates two 2048 × 2048 pixel Teledyne HgCdTe HAWAII-2RG detectors, one with a 1.7-micron cutoff and one with a 2.5-micron cutoff. The infrared detectors are controlled by Teledyne's SIDECAR (System for Image Digitization Enhancement Control And Retrieval) ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). While other ground-based systems have used the SIDECAR before, this system also utilizes Teledyne's JADE2 (JWST ASIC Drive Electronics) interface card and IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Here we present a summary of the software developed to interface the RATIR detectors with Remote Telescope System, 2nd Version (RTS2) software. RTS2 is an integrated open source package for remote observatory control under the Linux operating system and will autonomously coordinate observatory dome, telescope pointing, detector, filter wheel, focus stage, and dewar vacuum compressor operations. Where necessary we have developed custom interfaces between RTS2 and RATIR hardware, most notably for cryogenic focus stage motor drivers and temperature controllers. All detector and hardware interface software developed for RATIR is freely available and open source as part of the RTS2 distribution.

High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 8453, article id. 84532S, 9 pp. (2012).