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Manuscript Title: SCTE: An open-source Perl framework for testing equipment control and data acquisition
Authors: Luiz C. Mostaço-Guidolin, Rafael B. Frigori, Leonid Ruchko, Ricardo M. O. Galvão
Program title: SCTE
Catalogue identifier: AELZ_v1_0
Distribution format: tar.gz
Journal reference: Comput. Phys. Commun. 183(2012)1511
Programming language: Perl version 5.10.0 or higher.
Computer: PC. SCPI capable digital oscilloscope, with RS-232, USB, or LAN communication ports, null modem, USB, or Ethernet cables.
Operating system: GNU/Linux (2.6.28-11), should also work on any Unix-based operational system.
Keywords: Perl, Automation, Data acquisition, Equipment control, Test instrument, TCABR, SCPI.
PACS: 01.50.hv, 01.50.Lc, 01.50.Pa.
Classification: 4.14.

External routines: Perl modules: Device::SerialPort, Term::ANSIColor, Math::GSL, Net::HTTP. Gnuplot 4.0 or higher

Nature of problem:
Automation of experiments and data acquisition often requires expensive equipment and in-house development of software applications. Nowadays personal computers and test equipment come with fast and easy-to-use communication ports. Instrument vendors often supply application programs capable of controlling such devices, but are very restricted in terms of functionalities. For instance, they are not capable of controlling more than one test equipment at a same time or to automate repetitive tasks. SCTE provides a way of using auxiliary equipment in order to automate experiment procedures at low cost using only free, and open-source operational system and libraries.

Solution method:
SCTE provides a Perl module that implements RS-232, USB, and LAN communication allowing the use of SCPI capable instruments [1]. Therefore providing a straightforward way of creating automation and data acquisition applications using personal computers and testing instruments [2].

[1] SCPI Consortium, Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments, 1999. http://www.scpiconsortium.org.
[2] L. C. B. Mostaço-Guidolin, Determinação da configuração de ondas de Alfvén excitadas no tokamak TCABR, Master's thesis, Universidade de São Paulo (2007). http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/43/43134/tde-23042009-230419/