The objective of this assignment was to build the control systemfor a pointing photometer. The photometer will be mounted at theobservation post for northern lights in Adventdalen, Svalbard(Norway).
EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR) has an antenna which is continuouslypointed to the sky in a scanning manner. The research group for Space-and Plasma physics with the Department of Physics, University of Oslo,wished to build a photometer (extremely sensitive light meter) whichcould follow the movements of ESR. By doing this the connectionbetween particle precipitation, northern lights and electron densitycan be monitored.
From this starting point a mechanical platform was constructed (thishas been altered several times during the process). Det crucial pointof this assignment has been the development of electronics to controlthis platform.
In an early stage the desire to track ESR was substituted with thedesire to track sounding rockets. This had no consequences for themechanical design of the photometer, but has resulted in some minorchanges of the electronics design. There was also desired to be ableto control the photometer over inter-net. To minimize the expenses ofsending personnel to Svaldbard when the instrument needed updates,there was desired to be able to reconfigure the hardware and thesoftware over inter-net.
Under the prerequisites described above, a printed circuit board (PCB)was designed. The circuit can control, monitor and read data from theinstruments sensors. It also controls all of the instruments motions. The circuit, and its firmware, are able to control the photometer asdesired. The function of reconfigure the circuit isn't yet fullyimplemented. The software for this has to be developed, but thecircuit is fully prepared for this operations.