Software architecture for an unattended remotely controlled telescope

We report on the software architecture we developed for the Open University's remotely controlled telescope PIRATE. This facility is based in Mallorca and used in distance learning modules by undergraduate students and by postgraduate students for research projects. PIRATE (Physics Innovations Robotic Astronomical Telescope Explorer) is a largely Open University funded facility consisting of a small aperture reflecting telescope on a robotic mount, in a robotic dome on top of the main observatory building at the Observatori Astronomic de Mallorca (OAM). Initially, the optical tube assembly (OTA) was a 14 inch (35 cm) f/10 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (a Celestron 14; PIRATE Mark I). In August 2010 this was upgraded to a PlaneWave Instruments CDK17, a 17 inch (0.43 m) f/6.8 corrected Dall-Kirkham astrograph telescope (PIRATE Mark II).

Robert Lucas, Ulrich Kolb (Submitted on 14 Dec 2010)
Comments: 6 pages, 5 diagrams, Accepted for publication in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Physics Education (physics.ed-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:1012.3058v1 [astro-ph.IM]

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