|First tryouts with the Siemens S7-200 (and Lego)|
You can learn more about the observatory here
I've spent about 30 nights on the top of a mountain (can't count the ones in 'lowland') working on this project, it was really fun and exciting. My work mostly consisted in taking care of all security aspects (to avoid damages) with a (limited) Siemens PLC S7-200 which I'm now sure that was a too lower series for this kind of purpose. (unfortunately discovered too late)
One important feature of this solution is that every possible alarms that happens are signaled by the PLC via email (and maybe later by SMS). For most common alarms (like sky becoming cloudy) the PLC take care of it by himself. There is anyway some situation where the human action (remote or in extreme case in place) is needed.
|Inside view of the observatory|
To stay safe the observatory has to know every possible threats to him. (weather, snow, sky clouds, telescope dangerous positions, ....).
A radio bridge grants the Internet connectivity to the observatory. All the astronomical software has been deployed on a brand new x3550 IBM server and a 8kVA UPS has been installed to permit emergency operations (PLC operations) in case of power failure.
|Observatory Web Interface (ACP)|
A better (but probably confusing for this post purpose) overview of the various components (software and hardware) is shown in the diagram below.
Any comments would be appreciated