Global Firebal Observatory operations – Ansible

CI: – Dr. M. Cupak

The Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) at Curtin University is the largest planetary science research group in the Southern Hemisphere. The Fireballs team within SSTC operates a continental scale facility called Desert Fireball Network (DFN) in Australia, which continuously records all-sky astronomic imagery from multiple locations. DFN recently expanded into Global Fireball Observatory (GFO, The motivation for observing fireballs is unveiling the solar system history from studying the population and properties of space rocks colliding with the Earth. Multiple station observations allow to triangulate and back trace trajectories, calculate orbits and hence determine the origin of meteoroids in the solar system. In special cases, when fragments of the space rock survive the encounter with Earth’s atmosphere, it is possible to compute the fall location coordinates and collect meteorites as free extra-terrestrial geological samples not requiring multi-million sample-return space missions.
To allow a sustainable longterm operation of the network, the technology to manage configuration of the distributed facility consisting of a number of camera systems needs to be standardised, efficient and traceable.
We plan to improve the current approach by migrating of the remote management of the DFN/GFO networks from in-house designed tool-kit to a standardised configuration-management software. Instruments capturing data at network nodes are embedded camera systems based on Linux, with Internet connectivity and remote access via VPN. Considering the technology currently used, which includes SW updates using rsync and scripts remotely run through ssh, Ansible is the best solution. But we do not have experience with this software, hence ADACS Training Support will enable us to get in touch with Ansible professional who would explain the basic principles and help us with targeted training for the specific use cases and situations where we intend to deploy Ansible.