University of Wisconsin-Madison

First Year Performance Paper - Section 2.2.1

2.2.1 Data acquisition software

The DAQ testing software consists of Java-based code interacting with software and firmware running on the DOMs. The Java software runs simultaneously on multiple host computers, which are tied together using Java's Remote Method Invocation. DOM configuration is done using an XML file that defines global run and individual DOM parameters. There are about 50 settable parameters per DOM. Examples of these parameters include the length of the run, high voltage setting, ATWD sampling rate, the number of samples to read out for each ATWD channel, the DOM trigger mode operation, the discriminator set point, flasher-board setting, etc. Standard settings for each DOM are stored in a master database. Each DOM has a unique electronic read-back identifier, which is mapped both to a string number and to a position, as well as to a simple-to-remember name.

Schematic diagram of String#21 and two associated tanks.
Schematic diagram of String#21 and two associated tanks.

Perl-based experiment control scripts run on a special designated computer called a string processor. The string processor communicates with the DOMs using a designated DOMhub computer that can configure each of the DOMs according to XML configuration files. Three data streams are open for each DOM for hit records, monitor records and time calibration records and the data collected for each DOM is written to three corresponding files. The GPS event time is added to each record.

The same software was also used for DAQ at the South Pole during the first year of operation discussed in this paper. After a South Pole run was completed, the data were filtered in a software. The In-Ice filter required 8 DOMs that launched within two microseconds. This reduced the data volume from about 30 GBytes to less than 4 GBytes per day. The reduced data were transmitted to the northern hemisphere for further processing.