next up previous contents index
Next: Station housing Up: THE AURORAL LARGE IMAGING Previous: Concluding remarks   Contents   Index

The Instrumentation Platform

``It might be the warriors who get the glory, but it's the engineers who build societies''
Any scientific instrumentation, regardless of whether it is manual or automatic, ground-based or space-borne, needs some basic supporting infrastructure in the form of: For space-borne instruments, many of these functions are provided by the spacecraft platform. In the ground-based case many of these requirements are often more relaxed due to a less-hostile environment and the proximity to the general infrastructure of human civilisation. However if unmanned measurement stations are deployed in a sparsely-populated area with a sub-arctic climate, some requirements on the instrument platform becomes as demanding as in the space-borne case. Thus the ALIS-project required a closer examination of the basic infrastructure than most ground-based facilities in the field. The required basic infrastructure for low-light imaging stations could to a large extent also be used by other instruments (not necessarily optical), or even in entirely different contexts. Thus, these efforts to provide a housing for the ALIS stations resulted in the concept of a Ground-based Low-light Imaging Platform (GLIP) which constitutes the major part of an ALIS station.

The GLIP was designed in such a way that it should be able to operate in the harsh climate of the Kiruna region without any manual attendance for a period of up to 8 months. It was a requirement to be able to monitor and control all necessary functions of the GLIP remotely, even if the normal means for controlling the station should fail. In the case of a total communication- and control failure, critical subsystems, such as heaters and sensitive detectors, should enter a safe survival mode. The station should furthermore be able to continue operation even if the control centre failed. Finally, the GLIP would be designed in a modular fashion, so that the various subsystems and instruments should be easy to replace for maintenance, etc. The major subsystems of the GLIP are described in the following sections; refer to the block diagram in Figure A.1.

Figure A.1: Block diagram of the Ground-based Low-light Imaging Platform. The acronyms are explained in Table A.1

Table A.1: Explanation of acronyms in Figure A.1.
% latex2html id marker 11674
\end{tabularx} \end{center} \end{table}

next up previous contents index
Next: Station housing Up: THE AURORAL LARGE IMAGING Previous: Concluding remarks   Contents   Index
copyright Urban Brändström