Madrid, May 2022

The European Southern Observatory (ESO), the organization behind many world-class observatories, selected eProsima Fast DDS as the communication middleware for the control system of the world's largest optical telescope.

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) currently under construction in Chile comprises many mechanical and optical components and subsystems. In total the control system comprises 15,000 actuators, and over 25,000 sensors, controlling segmented and adaptive mirrors at rates of up to 1000 Hz. This highly complex, highly distributed, control system requires a reliable, decentralized and performance-optimized communication layer to react in real-time to any external influences like gravity, winds, and temperature. To control the telescope and mirrors to produce sharp images of the universe, the organization leverages the communication standard DDS (Data Distribution Service), and more specifically eProsima Fast DDS.

Fast DDS is an open-source DDS implementation for critical distributed systems. It provides not only real-time characteristics but also a vast range of configurable options to adapt to the many communication use cases comprising the ELT Control System. As part of meeting these requirements, eProsima developed additional features for Fast DDS, namely Conditions and Wait-sets. These features provide the user with a mechanism to receive information on communication status changes in the network.


ESO, 2022, ELT dome and telescope structure,.jpg, accessed 29 March 2022, <https://www.eso.org/public/germany/products/virtualbackgrounds/vbg_002/>



The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is an intergovernmental organization that offers the international scientific community the use of its world-class observatories for investigation. Besides the range of observatories operated by ESO, they are currently building the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile, “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.



eProsima is an SME company focused on networking middleware with special attention to the OMG (Object Management Group) standard called Data Distribution Service (DDS) for real time systems. The company’s DDS middleware solutions find special interest in the robotic, IoT and automotive sector, being Fast DDS a middleware implementations for larger robotic systems like ROS 2 and Micro XRCE-DDS the default middleware for micro-ROS, a robot operating system for microcontrollers.



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