We believe that we have designed the control system to allow the telescope to live up to its full potential. We have been conservative in our application of computer power to each part of the telescope.
There is substantial room for growth in most of the subsystems. Each VME chassis has been specified with many spare slots, and each SBC is running at only a fraction of its capacity. Each of the components is more or less independent of the others. The real-time systems can be upgraded one by one, if the need arises.
The telescope network is key to the control system performance. The switched Ethernet allows us to keep the utilization, and hence the latency, under control, and thereby allow more data to flow over the network. Using the Ethernet protocol keeps things simple. We can still cosider any of the higher-speed options, because our network switches are ready to accept higher-performance network links, like Gigabit Ethernet and ATM.
This GBT M&C hardware design is the product of a very good group of people. Several that have had a particularly big hand in the hardware design are Joe Brandt, Ed Childers, and Tim Weadon, all of NRAO Green Bank.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.