The ING has been working on equipping the William Herschel Telescope with new, digital electronics to replace the telescope's original analog electronics. After deployment and successful commissioning, the WHT resumed routine science observations on Friday, 22nd June, using the new electronic components as well as several updated software packages.
This upgrade will facilitate the integration of the new WEAVE hardware, and will ensure the telescope can be maintained through the WEAVE survey years. The project was finished on time and slightly under budget.
By design, the performance under the new telescope control system is identical to that under the old system, and indeed users may not notice that anything has changed - only the old blue telescope console will be missed. But visiting astronomers will be asked to keep an eye out and report any issues they find with the new system.
The modernisation of the WHT control system will continue in the coming years with the porting of the high-level software, written in VMS-Fortran and running on Alpha workstations, to a modern language under Linux. We will keep our communities informed of these developments.