Computer assisted data acquisition in real time
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A technique is outlined by which a normal time-shared operating system may be modified to permit concurrent processing of the time-synchronous data sampling operations in real time and the more typical time-insensitive functions of other user processes on that system. Guidance is given regarding the implementation of such a proposal and it is discussed in relation to the UNIX operating system, on which it has been demonstrated. It is pointed out that concurrent processing of a multi-user time-shared system and a single-user time-synchronous sampling routine offers a more efficient use of the computer processor, when real time sampling must be undertaken, while still offering a service to other users. Such a scheme may be an attractive alternative to implementing a full-scale Real Time Operating System for the exclusive use of a very limited sampling operation. Applications for such a technique in the field of observational astronomical research are briefly reviewed, and current ad hoc software criticised.
Thesis, MSc Master of Science
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