HARPS-N: software path from the observation block to the image

D. Sosnowska, M. Lodi, X. Gao, N. Buchschacher, A. Vick, J. Guerra, M. Gonzalez, D. Kelly, C. Lovis, F. Pepe, E. Molinari, A. C. Cameron, D. Latham, S. Udry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


HARPS North is the twin of the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity for Planetary Search) spectrograph operating in La Silla (Chile) recently installed on the TNG in La Palma observatory and used to follow-up, the "hot" candidates delivered by the Kepler satellite. HARPS-N is delivered with its own software that completely integrates with the TNG control system. A special care has been dedicated to develop tools that will assist the astronomers during the whole process of taking images: from the observation schedule to the raw image acquisition. All these tools are presented in the paper. In order to provide a stable and reliable system, the software has been developed keeping in mind concepts like failover and high-availability. HARPS-N is made of heterogeneous systems, from normal computer to real-time systems, that's why the standard message queue middleware (ActiveMQ) was chosen to provide the communications between different processes. The path of operations starting with the Observation Blocks and ending with the FITS frames is fully automated and could allow, in the future, the completely remote observing runs optimized for the time and quality constraints.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012


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