The intent of this project is to deliver a well documented, easily maintainable instrument which has all the facilities and ancillary capabilities (e.g. status displays) necessary to become the workhorse GBT pulsar/spectral line backend. The hardware is the actual VEGAS hardware, and the instrument will continue to be known as VEGAS. But, to differentiate this work from continued spectral line development, we are referring to is as the "VEGAS Pulsar Modes (VPM)"..
The project will build on the work already done for the VEGAS spectral line modes, and the DIBAS project, which delivered a subset of the desired pulsar modes to Shanghai, along with a "stand-alone M&C system" which allowed for the control of the DIBAS instrument independently of the GBT M&C system. In addition to simply delivering the desired functionality, for long term maintenance we will introduce two new develiopments; the Manager and the high performance computing system (HPC) will make use of the new component framework currently under development by the Green Bank Software Development Division.
In extremely simplified terms, VPM consists of three components: the "firmware" (BOF files); the "HPC software" and the Manager. Currently these exist as the DIBAS BOF files, The "GUPPI_DAQ" HPC software, and the DIBAS "dealer / player" software. The development path will be:
- rebuild the DIBAS BOF files under the latest CASPER environment
- develop additional BOF files as necessary
- test the new BOF files using the existing GUPPI_DAQ HPC software, and the dealer/player software
- Add the required pulsar capabilities to the existing VEGAS Manager
- migrate the HPC software to use the new component model
- test the HPC software (and the whole system) with the already verified BOF files
- In parallel with the above, some other tasks are required; for example Astrid and the config_tool will need to be modified for dual-backend operation
- release the system.
Each of these steps, are described in more detail below.
Rebuilding the DIBAS BOF files under the latest CASPER environment (Jason)
Developing additional BOF files (Randy)
Testing the new BOF files using the existing GUPPI_DAQ HPC software, and the dealer/player software (Ray / Paul)
Adding the required pulsar capabilities to the existing VEGAS Manager (Justin)
Migrating the HPC software to use the new component model (Ray)
Testing the HPC software (and the whole system) with the already verified BOF files (Ryan)
Other tasks to be performed in parallel (Richard)