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Proceedings Paper

Reshaping the user experience at the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO)
Author(s): Michelle L. Edwards; Doug Summers; Joseph Astier; Igor Suarez Sola; Petr Kubánek; Christian Veillet; Jennifer Power; Andrew Cardwell; Shane Walsh
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Paper Abstract

Uniquely designed with two 8.4m mirrors, a 22.8m interferometric baseline, and the collecting area of an 11.8m telescope, the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO), has a narrow window of opportunity to exploit its status as the “first” of the ELTs. Prompted by urgency to maximum scientific output during this favorable interval, we undertook a multi-year project to reshape the user experience. The initial stage, implementing a new suite of software to facilitate proposal submission, script creation, binocular planning, and nighttime execution, is nearing completion. Reuse and adaptation of existing software, particularly Gemini Observatory’s cross-platform PIT and OT, proved critical, although as expected, we encountered many challenges presented by our one-of-a-kind binocular design and operations. We hope to leverage our success in the early phases of this project toward further improvement of our science operations model, specifically, augmenting our nighttime operations to include observatory-led observing. We plan to focus this observing mode primarily on instruments that require block scheduling and/or superb and rare conditions such as our newly commissioned GLAO system, ARGOS. In this paper, we outline our workflow, describe lessons learned, and present our resulting software products. We also detail future development toward our ultimate goal, improved efficiency and user interactions throughout every step of the observing experience.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2018
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 10704, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII, 107041H (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313678
Show Author Affiliations
Michelle L. Edwards, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Doug Summers, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Joseph Astier, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Igor Suarez Sola, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Petr Kubánek, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Christian Veillet, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Jennifer Power, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Andrew Cardwell, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)
Shane Walsh, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10704:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Chris R. Benn, Editor(s)

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