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Message ID: 13893     Entry time: Fri May 25 14:55:33 2018
Author: Jon Richardson 
Type: Update 
Category: Cameras 
Subject: Status of GigE Camera Software Fixes 

There is an effort to switch to an all-digital system for the GigE camera feeds similar to the one running at LLO, which uses Joe Betzwieser's custom SnapPy package to interface with the cameras in Python and aggregate their feeds into a fancy GUI. Joe's code is a SWIG-wrapping of the commercial camera-driver API, Pylon, from Basler. The wrapping allows the low-level camera driver methods to be called from within Python, and their feeds are forwarded to a gstreamer stream also initiated from within Python. The problem is that his wrapping (and the underlying Pylon software itself) is only runnable on an older version of Ubuntu. Efforts to run his software on newer distributions at the 40m have failed.

I'm working on a fix to essentially rewrite his high-level SnapPy code (generators of GUIs, etc.) to use the newest version of Pylon (pylon5) to interface at a low level with the cameras. I discovered that since the last attempt to digitize the camera system, Basler has released their own official version of a Python wrapping for Pylon on github (PyPylon).

Progress so far:

  • I've installed from source the newest version of Pylon, pylon5.0.12 on the SL7 machine (rossa). I chose that machine because LIGO is migrating to Scientific Linux, but I think this will also work for any distribution.
  • I've installed from source the the newest, official Python wrapping of the Basler Pylon software, pypylon.
  • I've tested the pypylon package and confirmed it can run our cameras.

The next and final step is to modify Joe's SnapPy package to import pypylon instead of his custom wrapping of an older version of the camera software, and update all of the Pylon calls to use the new methods. I'll hopefully get back to this early next week.

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