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Proceedings Paper

Operating a heterogeneous telescope network
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Paper Abstract

In the last few years the ubiquitous availability of high bandwidth networks has changed the way both robotic and non-robotic telescopes operate, with single isolated telescopes being integrated into expanding "smart" telescope networks that can span continents and respond to transient events in seconds. The Heterogeneous Telescope Networks (HTN)* Consortium represents a number of major research groups in the field of robotic telescopes, and together we are proposing a standards based approach to providing interoperability between the existing proprietary telescope networks. We further propose standards for interoperability, and integration with, the emerging Virtual Observatory. We present the results of the first interoperability meeting held last year and discuss the protocol and transport standards agreed at the meeting, which deals with the complex issue of how to optimally schedule observations on geographically distributed resources. We discuss a free market approach to this scheduling problem, which must initially be based on ad-hoc agreements between the participants in the network, but which may eventually expand into a electronic market for the exchange of telescope time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 62700H (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671247
Show Author Affiliations
Alasdair Allan, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Karsten Bischoff, Teleskoptechnik Halfmann (Germany)
Martin Burgdorf, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Brad Cavanagh, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Damien Christian, Queen's Univ. Belfast (United Kingdom)
Neil Clay, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Rob Dickens, Latterfrosken Software Development Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Frossie Economou, Queens's Univ. Belfast (United Kingdom)
Mehri Fadavi, Jackson State Univ. (United States)
Stephen Frazer, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Thomas Granzer, Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (Germany)
Sandy Grosvenor, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Frederic V. Hessman, Georg-August-Univ. (Germany)
Tim Jenness, Joint Astronomy Ctr. (United States)
Anuradha Koratkar, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (United States)
Matthew Lehner, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Chris Mottram, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Tim Naylor, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Eric S. Saunders, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Nikolaos Solomos, Hellenic Naval Academy (Greece)
National Astronomy Ctr. (Greece)
Iain A. Steele, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Georg Tuparev, Tuparev Technologies (Bulgaria)
W. Thomas Vestrand, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Robert R. White, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Sarah Yost, Univ. of Michigan (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6270:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems
David R. Silva; Rodger E. Doxsey, Editor(s)

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