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Proceedings Paper

Communication to remote observatories is a science enabler
Author(s): G. Filippi; S. Jaque; R. Chini; S. Mieske; G. Hau; A. Astudillo; M. Zambrano; A. Schemrl; J. Parra; J. Ibsen
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Paper Abstract

The environmental conditions that allow optimal astronomical observations are often coupled with sites that are far away from human settlements and of difficult access, implying limited infrastructure availability that translates in excessive costs and limited bandwidth. With the availability and more affordability of optical based technologies, the astronomical scientific community, alone or joining forces with other actors, has managed in the last decade to boost the communication capability available to several of the astronomical installations in the northern Chilean region, the Atacama Desert, and to successfully increase the efficiency and effectivity of the existing Observatories and setting the basis for the coming ones. The paper, after providing a short summary of the projects developed to enable better communications and the future initiatives currently foreseen, focuses on the following show‐cases, from users that differ in size and aims, in served communities and in geographical locations: a) the observation of the First Light from Gravitational Wave Source (ESO, ALMA, et Al.); b) the use of virtual presence to bring the observer where things happen (ESO/PARANAL); c) remote operations for robotic installation (OCA); d) Contributing to develop the local environment (REUNA); e) provide the “muscle” for the current and future data challenge (ALMA). These examples, by illustrating how communication transformed the way research and education are done, demonstrate that improved communication is paramount in achieving better and, in some case, new astonishing results, both in terms of science and as well as enriching the communities, both scientific and in general.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 10707, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy V, 107073A (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2326368
Show Author Affiliations
G. Filippi, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
S. Jaque, Corp. REUNA (Chile)
R. Chini, Ruhr-Univ. Bochum (Germany)
S. Mieske, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
G. Hau, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
A. Astudillo, Corp. REUNA (Chile)
M. Zambrano, Joint ALMA Observatory (Chile)
A. Schemrl, Joint ALMA Observatory (Chile)
J. Parra, Joint ALMA Observatory (Chile)
J. Ibsen, Joint ALMA Observatory (Chile)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10707:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy V
Juan C. Guzman; Jorge Ibsen, Editor(s)

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