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Proceedings Paper

OAdM robotic observatory: solutions for an unattended small-class observatory
Author(s): J. Colomé; I. Ribas; D. Fernández; X. Francisco; J. Isern; X. Palau; J. Torra
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Paper Abstract

The Montsec Astronomical Observatory (OAdM) is a small-class observatory working on a completely unattended control, due to the isolation of the site. Robotic operation is, then, mandatory for its routine use. The level of robotization of an observatory is given by the confidence reached to respond to environment changes and by the required human interaction due to possible alarms. These two points establish a level of human attendance to ensure low risk at any time. There are key problems to solve when a robotic control is envisaged. Learned lessons and solutions to these issues at the OAdM are discussed here. We present a description of the general control software (SW) and several SW packages developed. The general control SW specially protects the system at the identified single points of failure and makes a distributed control of any subsystem, which are able to respond independently when an alarm is triggered on thanks to a top-down control flow. Specific SW packages developed are: an environment monitoring SW, a set of alarm routines, a pipeline for calibration and analysis of the images taken, and an observation scheduler. All together compose a SW suite designed to reach the complete robotization of an observatory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7019, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II, 70192K (21 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789847
Show Author Affiliations
J. Colomé, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (Spain)
Institut de Ciènces de l'Espai, CSIC-IEEC (Spain)
I. Ribas, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (Spain)
Institut de Ciènces de l'Espai, CSIC-IEEC (Spain)
D. Fernández, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (Spain)
Institut de Ciènces del Cosmos, UB-IEEC (Spain)
X. Francisco, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (Spain)
J. Isern, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (Spain)
Institut de Ciènces de l'Espai, CSIC-IEEC (Spain)
X. Palau, Fundació Joan Oró (Spain)
J. Torra, Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (Spain)
Institut de Ciènces del Cosmos, UB-IEEC (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7019:
Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II
Alan Bridger; Nicole M. Radziwill, Editor(s)

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