Categories of Robotic Telescopes
Manual Telescope (MT)
This is not a robotic telescope, but is included here for reference. For a manual telescope the observer manually positions the telescope and then obtains observations. This would be the situation for an amateur astronomer without a GOTO system that had a CCD camera. Obviously, many such systems exist.
Computer Controlled Telescope (CT)
This would be the case in which a computer points the telescope, and a computer (possibly another computer) controls a CCD camera. This is the situation for many current professional observatories. This is also the current situation for many small university observatories.
Robotic Telescope (RT)
A robotic telescope system contains an intergrated computer interface for a telescope and a CCD camera. One computer software system (window) can control the telescope and the CCD camera. Robotic telescope systems must provide some level of scripting. When a robotic telescope is run using a script by an observer at the telescope, this is termed "dumb mode" or manual mode opperation (RT-M). This is not the same as an observer running a robotic telescope manually without a script. In that case one would essentially have a computer controlled telescope (CT).
It is useful to designate three levels of robotic telescopes. A simple robotic telescope has an integrated computer environment for controling a telescope and CCD camera. A robotic telescope with remote accessibility can be controled by a remote observer (at least at some level). A robotic telescope with real time control allows a remote observer to interactively control the telescope and camera.
Basic Robotic Telescope (RT-B)
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