Telescope Manager


In the SKA design, the Telescope Manager (TM) element includes all the hardware and software necessary to control the telescope and associated infrastructure. The TM Consortium of the SKA is led by Yashwant Gupta (NCRA-TIFR).

Learn about the Telescope Manager here.

Recently, the TM Consortium went for a Critical Design Review (CDR). The details of the process and the outcome can be found below:


Overview :                         

It gives us immense pleasure and proud to share that we were able to successfully achieve the TM CDR closure recently and with that, we come to the end of formal CDR phase for the TM. We embarked on this journey in November 2013 with the kick off of the TM PDR and it took about four years and eight months to reach this milestone. Over the last three to fours months our focus has been on addressing actions from the CDR review process and achieve the milestone. Thus the TM becomes the first element in the SKA to achieve this feat supporting overall project schedule in its favour by trying to adhere to the planned timeline.

While this brings the curtain down on the CDR phase we are looking forward to being part of the bridging phase in the coming months. The high-level activities for the same are being discussed and agreed upon with the Office in support of the System CDR and to further assess and mitigate TM's own risk areas coming out of the CDR review process.

The summary of the work taken up since the last reporting, key events and accomplishments are as follows :

TM CDR Review Meeting and Outcome :


TM CDR review meeting was held from 17th to 20th April 2018 at the Jodrell Bank Observatory. The Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) was used as a best-practice method for the validation of the architecture completeness and for the identification of risks and was performed under the guidance of Software Engineering Institute (SEI) facilitators. Following the meeting, the review panel submitted the report on the TM CDR review process which provided a record of the meeting that includes

  • an overall summary of the panel’s opinion on the status of the design
  • the conclusions reached by the panel, and
  • a recommendation to the SKA Programme Board as the correct action to take as a result of these recommendations.

The panel unanimously opinionated that enormous progress has been made since the TM PDR and the review process clearly demonstrated that the TM Consortia met the review criteria successfully. No systemic risks were identified that prevent the TM element from proceeding, provided a successful System CDR. The panel noted that the presented materials clearly demonstrated that the TM architecture met the requirements for construction and operations.

The external SEI facilitators considered the architecture documentation to be of an extremely high quality, and overall the panel felt that the risks associated with this area of the project are far easier to mitigate by proceeding to the next phase than continuing with further purely documentation related design activity.

At the same time, they also highlighted some areas that they felt require additional investigation and prototyping.

A Video describing the CDR process 


TM CDR Close-Out Submission :

Since the TM CDR Review meeting, it has been very busy last three months addressing observations and comments from the review. There were 685 observations in total from the review and those were needed to be resolved and the revised documentation had to be submitted by the end of June. This was not an easy task given the amount of work involved. This required a lot of support from and coordination with the reviewers. And also generated a number of discussions, sub-activities and threads that involved people from within, the other consortia and the Office in order to resolve review actions unanimously. When the revised design documentation was submitted with two weeks of delay on 16th July most observations from the review were resolved. The remaining observations have been transferred to System CDR in agreement with the Office and to be taken up during bridging in time for the System CDR.

We have now been awarded the Milestone Acceptance certificate for successfully completing the last planned milestone and thus reach the end of CDR phase for the TM.

TM EPMs Visit to India :

Maurizio Miccollis, the EPM for TM and SDP at the SKAO, visited NCRA, India in the month of May for four days. During his visit, he had extended discussions with the Indian team and firmed up the list of activities to be taken up during bridging from the Indian point of view and resource requirement for the same from NCRA. He also visited GMRT Telescope and Indian industry partners (TCS and PSL) and had useful discussions.

Future Coordination within the Current TM Members:

Now that the TM Consortium Agreement (CA) cease to exists until the end July 2018, it has been agreed in the TM Board to work as a loosely coupled group going forward. The Office appears to welcome the move and has approached us to help them with the coordination of the future group’s activities and tasks during the bridging.

SPC SAFe Training:

The first SPC SAFe training was organised at the SKA Office in the week of 23rd July and the consortium was well represented given the activities to be taken up beyond CDR closure for the software dominated packages in an agile and safe manner.

[Contributed by Vinod Sathe]

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