Telescope Manager



As we are marching towards our CDR submission milestone (Jan 2018), we are busy getting ready the design documentation. Three of the five important milestones on this path have been already accepted by the SKAO; for other milestones the design documentation has been either reviewed or being reviewed. One milestone which consists of a number of reports is in progress, though delayed a bit, but nevertheless getting ready for the submission ahead of the Review Readiness Notice (RRN) aimed to be completed by the mid of December. In the meantime, one more version of the TM Cost estimate was submitted, ahead of the November SKA Board meeting. Similarly, Requirements Engineering and External Interfaces have seen good progress over the last few months.

The summary of the work taken up since the last reporting, key events and accomplishments are as follows:

Revised TM Cost Estimates

The revised cost estimates for TM were submitted in October, as inputs for the November 2017 SKA Board meeting, with a reduction of ~ 5 M Euros, bringing down the TM cost within the TM cost cap (i.e. 38.8 M Euro) ! However, during the SAFe Construction Planning Workshop it was advised to increase the effort for Product Owner role, due to which the TM Cost has again increased somewhat. Further, TM plans to submit the revised cost model ahead of the RRN, with an increase in the cost due to addition of the cost of Authentication and Authorisation and Audit (AAA) functionality, now included under the scope of TM.

Progress in Architecture and Design

  • The Milestone M30, which deals with all the TM and AAA Requirements, has been accepted and the last few outstanding observations from the review are being addressed.
  • Similarly, milestone M31, which deals with the architecture data pack for the “TM Services” software module, has also been accepted, and revisions required to address observations received against it are in progress.
  • The architecture data pack for the Telescope Monitor and Control (TMC) software module and the Design Information Pack for the GUI module was submitted against milestone M32, and the same has been accepted subsequently.
  • As part of milestone M33, the architecture data pack for Observation Science Operations (OSO) and AAA has been submitted recently. The OSO part of it was reviewed with no major issues. The AAA data pack is being reviewed currently.
  • The last milestone, M34, against which we have to submit a number of reports has been progressing well, and we plan to complete significant submission ahead of the RRN scheduled around mid December.


The GUI prototyping work has been completed. The LINFRA prototyping work has been started, but the next level of prototyping requires procurement of new hardware which is in progress.

ADASS Conference and ALMA Visit

A team of five people (3 from GMRT/NCRA India and 2 from INAF, Italy) from the TM consortium attended ADASS Conference in Oct in Santiago, Chile in early November. Following the conference, the team visited ALMA Operations Support Facility (in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile) and Santiago Central Office (SCO) to get insights into ALMA Architecture and Operations. They were also joined by Nick Rees, the SKA Head of Computing and Software. The purpose of the visit was to understand ALMA software architecture and User Interfaces in operations. The team had useful interactions with the operators and system engineers during their visit, and a detailed report on the visit is being prepared.

ICALEPCS Conference

The TM Consortium was well represented in the latest ICALEPCS Conference, held from the 8th to 13th of October. Following are the details of the papers and presentations made by the members of the TM Consortium at the conference.

  • A joint team of TCS Research and Innovation (TCS R&I) — Pune, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) — Pune and SKA South Africa — Cape Town published a paper on “Control System Simulation Using DSEE High-Level Instrument Interface and Behavioural Description”. The paper describes the details of the simulation library developed by the MeerKAT team by the name TANGO Sim-Lib. It explains how it can be used in conjunction with the Domain Specific Engineering Environment (DSEE) developed by TCS R&I (with inputs from NCRA-TIFR) to achieve the simulation needs of a telescope such as the SKA.
  • Also, TCS R&I presented the DSEE work at the TANGO collaboration meeting, held as an associated workshop coupled with the ICALEPCS conference. The focus of the presentation was to discuss the potential benefits of extending the TANGO framework with a supporting DSEE which would enable Model Driven Development of Control Systems using TANGO. It highlighted the DSEE that was already developed as part of the SKA India team and how it can be taken forward for TANGO through NCRA’s contribution to the TANGO community. The presentation was well-received by the TANGO community.
  • The TM.LMC Team of INAF — Italy presented posters about TM SERVICES and TM Fault Management Using AI and the TM.GUI Team (from INAF) made a presentation about Usability for the Control Room UI.

Report provided by the TM consortium