DRAMA - An Environment for Instrumentation Software

The DRAMA system is designed to meet the AAO's requirements for a fast, distributed environment for writing Instrumentation Control Systems.

DRAMA allows low level instrumentation software to be controlled from user interfaces running on UNIX, MS Windows or VMS machines in a consistent manner. Such instrumentation tasks can run either on these machines or on real time systems such as VxWorks.

DRAMA uses techniques developed by the AAO while using the Starlink-ADAM environment, but is optimized for the requirements of instrumentation control, portability, embedded systems and speed. A special program is provided which allows seamless communication between ADAM and DRAMA tasks.

We believe DRAMA will port easily to any version of Unix and the layering is such that most operating systems with a C compiler can be supported.

DRAMA has actively maintained ports to Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X and VxWorks. VMS and WIN32 versions are also supported through at a lower level of effort.

At the AAO, graphical user interfaces to DRAMA systems are normally written in Tcl/Tk and Java. Many other possibilities exist, including Motif, MS Windows and Perl Tk.

Scripting can be done in command line scripts, Tcl/Tk and Perl (Perl support is not part of the standard release but is available is requested).

DRAMA is used by the AAO on its instrumentation projects, such as 2dF, IRIS2, AAOmega and 6dF.

DRAMA is also being used by the Isacc Newton Group of Telescopes and by the Joint Astronomy Center Hawaii for projects on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope (JACH has been a significant contributor to the development of DRAMA).

Parts of DRAMA are being used by the Gemini 8m Telescope and some parts have made it into the European Southern Observatory's VLT project, as part of the FLAMES instrument (parts of which were built by the AAO).

The DRAMA copyright is held by the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board (AATB) and DRAMA is generally available for non-profitable uses. Commercial use requires approval from the AATB.

The AATB does not offer any type of warranty on DRAMA (unless subject to a specific agreement with the AATB)

The AATB cannot any guarantee of support (unless subject to a specific agreement with the AATB). The authors will, nether-less, attempt to respond to requests for support etc. to the extend their other commitments allow.

Click here for the DRAMA Html pages index.

Last update to these pages 03-Nov-2009 as part of DRAMA release 1.6.3.


Click here for the DRAMA home page and here for the AAO home page.

 For more information, contact tjf@aaoepp.aao.gov.au