LIGO Document P1600066-v7

Distributed State Machine Supervision for Long-baseline Gravitational-wave Detectors with the Guardian Automation Platform

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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two identical yet independent, widely-spaced, long-baseline gravitational-wave antennae. Each LIGO detector consists of a complex optical system, isolated from the ground by multiple layers of active seismic isolation, all controlled by hundreds of fast, digital, feedback control systems. This article describes a novel state machine-based automation platform developed to handle the automation and supervisory control challenges of the Advanced LIGO detectors. The platform, called \textit{Guardian}, consists of distributed, independent, state machine automaton nodes, organized hierarchically for full detector control. User code is written in standard Python, and the platform is designed to facilitate the fast, intense development pace associated with commissioning the complicated LIGO instruments. While developed specifically for the Advanced LIGO detectors, Guardian is a generic state machine automation platform that is useful for experimental control at all levels, from simple table-top setups to large-scale multi-million dollar facilities.
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