CTA - The Array Control and Data Acquisition System

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will consist of two large arrays with more than 100 Cherenkov telescopes plus a large number of scientific instruments to characterize the atmospheric conditions, calibrate the detectors, and monitor the safe operation of all devices. All these instruments will produce a large volume of data (about 23 petabyte (PB) per year). The CTA Array Control and Data Acquisition System (ACTL) is the overlaying software developed to control the observatory and run the data acquisition. The DESY team of researchers and computing experts are leading the ACTL work-package of CTA, in close cooperation with other groups in CTA. The DESY experts are modeling the precise architecture of the software system in order to organize the software development in CTA.

The ACTL instrument operation software: the heart of the ACTL system

The DESY team is building up the central element that links all other software elements of the ACTL system and that implements the different instrument operation modes needed to achieve the CTA scientific objectives. This includes the creation of the operator graphical user interface. From this interface, the CTA observing crew will be able to efficiently monitor and control the system composed of many telescopes and devices.

The DESY ACTL software validation and verification center

The DESY team has established a test setup to validate the ACTL software prior to its deployment into the site. Aspects as the proper integration of the software elements, its reliability, as well as its recovery capabilities when facing sub-element failures, will be tested here.