The AAO's OBSERVER software was first introduced to control data acquisition using the various CCDs in conjunction with the Large External Memory (XMEM; see § 4.3). It is a modular system based on the ADAM data acquisition environment. ADAM (Astronomical Data Acquisition Monitor) was originally developed at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and was then reworked for VAX systems at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. It is now a collaborative project between the various UK-connected observatories, and is coordinated by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK.
The modularity of OBSERVER has made it possible to reuse most of the CCD software to produce the IRIS control system, and it is the AAO's intention to run all new instruments under OBSERVER. Outside institutions intending to produce instruments for AAO should be aware of this, and can obtain details of the system from the AAO computer group.
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