APECS is the distributed control system of the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) telescope located on the Llano de Chajnantor at an altitude of about 5100 m in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. APECS is based on parts of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) software and employs a modern, object-oriented design using the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) as the middleware. Generic device interfaces simplify adding instruments to the control system.
In addition to the hardware interfaces, one also needs to define the data product interfaces. There was a lack of modern single dish raw data data format descriptions when the APECS developments began. We therefore defined a new data format called Multi-Beam FITS / MBFITS to store the raw APEX data.
We have co-developed the DataCapturer for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) control software. The DataCapturer is a Java-based CORBA component running in the framework of the ALMA Common Software (ACS). The software component acquires meta data during an observation with a telescope (sub-) array and writes out the collected information such as antenna names, antenna positions, source description, pointing data etc. as an ALMA Science Data model (ASDM) dataset into the ALMA archive data base.