A real test of antenna control based on VME interfaces has been successfully performed. One antenna was temporarily interfaced to a VME crate which provided full control over the Azimuth and Elevation drives and encoders. The antenna tracked successfully on astronomical sources; fringes were even obtained with the other antennas.
This test is an important step toward a full replacement on the CAMAC instrumentation and VAX computers by a VME based system connected to a Unix workstation. This replacement is now foreseen for November/December. The new control system will allow more flexibility in the operation of the PdB array, which is essential specially for 1.3 mm observations. Based on our successful experience with the numerous upgrades carried on at Bure this year, we hope that the installation and final tests will not require more than 2 to 3 weeks on the site.