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General Resource List For
Robotic Telescope Developers

Some Listings of Robotic Telescope Systems

Some Programs that Utilize Robotic Telescopes

Resources for Building Robotic Telescope Systems

Observing and Reduction Tools

Image Processing Tools

RTML (Remote Telescope Markup Language)

Some Listings and Systems

An extensive listing of professional robotic telescopes

The RCT Consortium (RCT)

The RCT Consortium is the group of universities and research organizations who have assumed control of the 1.3-m telescope on Kitt Peak, in Arizona. The consortium consists of Western Kentucky University, the Planetary Science Institute, South Carolina State University and Francis Marion University. The telescope, originally called the Remotely Controlled Telescope, has been renamed the Robotically Controlled Telescope to reflect the change in operational control as well as the mode of use. Engineering testing is scheduled to begin Fall 2001 and science opperations are scheduled to begin Fall 2002.

Undergraduate Research Studies in Astronomy (URSA)

This is the University of Arkansas Robotic Telescope System developed by Claud Lacy. The system uses an LX200 mount and an SBIG camera, but all control functions are handled by custom software developed by the URSA staff. The system will accept observing requests from a web page and then schedule and obtain the observations and inform the user by email when the observations may be retrieved from the web. The URSA system is optimized for variable star observations. This system began "dumb" mode opperations in winter 2000. It is expected that remote observations may begin during winter 2001.

The web interface being developed for the URSA system is available in preliminary form.

URSA Web Interface:

The Hanna City Robotic Observatory

This is an example of a small robotic telescope system built by Jerry Gunn of the Peoria Astronomical Society. The system is designed to opperate completely unattended. Observing requests are submitted by modem over phone lines. The system uses an LX200 mount and an SBIG camera. Jerry includes complete instructions and technical specifications on his web site for anyone interested in building a similar system. The Hanna City system is optimized for variable star observations.

This complete system has been moved to Yerkes Observatory and now contributes to the Hands On Universe program (HOU).


Some Programs that Utilize Robotic Telescopes

Telescopes In Education (TIE)

International Working Group on Automatic Telescopes (IWGAT)

This page is maintained by John Mattox to support development of an Automated Telescope Network (ATN). This includes broad specifications that can be accomodated by RTML. These specifications can also be accomodated by ATIS.

Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT)

Automatic Telescope Network (ATN)

This is the vision of John Mattox.

Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA)

This is a network of small telescopes dedicated to obtain CCD data for cataclysmic variables (CVs). This extremely successful program has been in existence since the 1970s. They provide lists of recommended hardware, will share software developed by members, provide finding charts, and organize campaigns consisting of 2-3 targets observable from any point on the earth in any given month. Targets remain on the active list for a few months at a time. Special campaigns to obtain round-the-clock coverage are organized 2-3 times each year. Professionals analyze the data and publish papers which include the observers which obtained the data. Very productive. An excellent model for an informal network of obserrvers and telescopes.


Resources for Building Robotic Telescope Systems

The Robotic Observatory Home Page

This is a resource site intended to serve those interested in building and administering small robotic telescope systems. The site contains reference papers, discussions of key topics, and free software. This site is maintained by Jeff Medkeff.

Observing and Reduction Tools

Automated Observing and Reduction Tools

This is one of the pages available at the Astrometry at 701 page maintained by Jeff Medkeff. The Automated Observing page is committed to maintaining an exhaustive list of scripting software for robotic telescope control, plus analysis software for data obtained from robotic systems. Jeff wrote a recent article in Sky and Telescope about Automatic Asteroid Hunting. Available scripting systems include Astronomer's Control Panel with PinPoint (DC-3 Dreams), MPO Connections (BDW Publishing), and Orchestrate (Software Bisque). The Software Bisque system is available with an internet server.

Image Processing Tools

Image Processing Resources for Educators

This is a list of software and other resources for science educators. Some suggested activities and student projects are included.