The Heterogeneous Telescope Networks Workshop
 The Southgate Hotel, Exeter, United Kingdom
 18 - 21st July 2005
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Last Updated: 7th June 2005


Meta-networks and grid markets using eSTAR
Allan, Naylor, Saunders

To be decided...

The RoboNet Science Programme
M. Burgdorf for the RoboNet team

RoboNet-1.0 is a prototype global network of large (2m) robotic telescopes. The two core elements of its scientific programme are - The detection of cool extra-solar planets by optimised robotic monitoring of Galactic microlens events. - The determination of the nature of Gamma Ray Bursts by providing rapid response and optimised robotic monitoring.

The WASP Project
Damien Christian on behalf of the WASP Consortium

The current status of the SuperWASP project is reviewed. This will include all aspects of the project: hardware, pipeline and archive. Each SuperWASP instrument consists of up to 8 individual cameras using ultra-wide field lenses backed by high-quality passively cooled CCDs. Each camera covers ~7.8 x 7.8 sq degrees of sky, for nearly 500 sq degrees of total sky coverage. The SuperWASP photometric survey is concentrating on a large number of stars in the magnitude range of ~8 to 13. The future of the project is also discussed. Upto date details of the project are available from

Desperately seeking standards for a truly heterogeneous telescope network
Economou, F., Jenness T., Cavanagh B., Adamson A.

We are currently integrating UKIRT (infrared) and JCMT (sub-mm), our two traditional (non-robotic) observatories, into the eSTAR observational grid. Our experience indicates that a well developed inter-operability standard is critical to the growth, and hence success, of truly heterogenous telescope networks. We will discuss the pitfalls and opportunities facing existing facilities wishing to join such endeavours.

Steps to Building a Scalable Global HOU Network Based on RTML
Fadavi, M.

Over the past years, several institutions have been building up an RTML responsive network of telescopes. At present, we have completed protocols and image requests and transfer mechanisms for a commonly used observatory control system and plan to install this system at six different telescopes. Telescopes include, but are not limited to Jackson State University; Perth Observatory, Townsville, Australia; Haliewa, Hawaii/Arizona; Williams Bay, Wisconsin; and Ifrane, Morocco. A central telescope "request broker" in Berkeley sorts requests and reposts them into each observatory's directories on the Berkeley machine, which are then polled regularly by an ACP procedure running on each observatoryís control computer. A new feature being proto-typed is an ACP utility at these telescopes that will gracefully interrupt an observing run currently running requests from these HOU lists, and then acquire images of Gamma Ray Bursts from the GCN (the Gamma Ray Alert Network). If this utility works, plans include using it throughout the ACP user community, thus gaining possible temporal coverage of burst events. Other considerations presented will be obstacles/challenges encountered in building such a network and a personal story of developing facility capability at a small university in southern United States.

Observation scheduling of the Robonet-1.0 telescope network.
S.N. Fraser

In this talk we describe the object model of the Phase 2 database which stores the observation specifications at each telescope, the algorithm used to select the observing program and the constraints and objective weighting functions which are applied.

STELLA - Three robotic telescopes as a precursor for a robotic telescopes GRID?
T Granzer, K.G. Strassmeier, M. Weber

We present progress on the STELLA Twin Telescope on Tenerife and on RoboTel, located in Potsdam. STELLA are two 1.2m telescopes, STELLA-I equipped with an Echelle spectrograph and STELLA-II with a wide-field imager. RoboTel is an 80cm imaging telescope, where half of the time is dedicated to educational purposes. Possibilities of interlinking these telescopes similar to GRID-resources, benefiting thereby from existing GRID-middleware are discussed.

Science Goal Monitor
Sandy Grosvenor, Anuradha Koratkar, Jenny Geiger, John Jung

The Science Goal Monitor (SGM) project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a prototype software project to explore strategies for implementing science goal driven automation in missions. The SGM team is developing tools that improve the ability to monitor and react quickly and dynamically to the changing scientific events. SGM is currently involved in several related pursuits, including the following. We are developing a Science Event Alert Communication System (SEACS) that will provide a common XML-based representation and communication mechanism for dynamic scientific events including gamma ray bursts, solar storms and flares, volcanoes, floods, etc that is integrated into the GSFC Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) at NASA. We are developing and testing the reactive capability of SGM with campaigns that react autonomously to GRB alerts with the legacy XTE satellite and Yale University-based Small and Medium Aperture Telescope (SMARTS) system. We are integrating SGM with NASA's Instrument Remote Control (IRC) system to IRC's data interfaces, processing, and visualization capabilities. At the core of SGM are the needs for improved standards, integration, recognition, and reaction to diverse scientific events across a wide range of heterogeneous sources. Consequently, our interest in the Heterogeneous Telescope Networks Workshop is to assist with developing standards, ensure that SGM and its customers are aware of emerging technologies, and position SGM to integrate with them.

Prospects for a Global Telescope Network
F. Hessman

This meeting occurs at a particularly propitious time: the number of robotic telescopes which are or will soon be online continues to increase; many of these telescopes are already connected in restricted networks; the scientific need for globally-networked observations is clear (and not restricted to GRB); the international Virtual Observatory projects are in the process of interconnecting vast astronomical resources; and considerable gain can be achieved by coupling the scientific and educational use of such a network. I will discuss the prospects for a global telescope network from the perspective of the MONET project and our work on Remote Telescope Markup Language.

The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS)
M. J. Lehner et al.

The TAOS Collaboration operates four 50 cm telescopes to search for occultations of distant stars by small Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). The telescopes are located at Lu-Lin observatory in the central highlands of Taiwan. In this talk the project will be summarized and the current status of the system will be discussed.

High Level Interfaces to the Robonet-1.0 homogeneous telescope network
Chris Mottram

In this talk we describe the interfaces used to communicate with the Robonet-1.0 homogeneous telescope network. We discuss the technologies we are using. We show how we use web-services, RTML and the agent paradigm to control the network.

Why an agent based approach to telescope networks makes sense scientifically
Naylor, Allan, Saunders

To be decided...

Development of the distributed system project joining astronomical information and instrumental resources of Russia
Vitkovskiy V.V., Zhelenkova O.P., Ivanov A.A., Kalinina N.A., Nazarenko A.F., Chernenkov V. N., Shergin V.S.

As the base for creation of the Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) we consider the uniting available information in observational archives, data centers and the telescopes. A process of implementation of science research is regarded as a whole, from making task production to getting necessary information and obtaining science result.

Adaptive Dataset Planning
Saunders, Naylor, Allan

To be decided...

The "EUDOXOS" networked telescopes project in Greece
Solomos, N. Arageorgis, J.

To be decided...

Design and Implementation of a Software Package to control a Network of Robotic Observatories
Georg Tuparev, Rick Hessman, Irina Nicolova, Bogdan Zlatanov, Dary Mihova, Irina Popova

A software package able to control a large heterogeneous network of fully and semi-robotic observatories and initially developed to run the MONET network of two 1.2m telescoes is presented. Special attention is given to the design of a robust long-term observation scheduler which also allows the trading of observation time and facilities within various networks. The handling of the "Phase I&II" project-develoment process, the time-accounting between complex organisational structures, and usability issues for making the package accessible not only to professional astronomers, but also to amateurs and high-school students is discussed. A simple RTML-based solution to link multiple networks is demonstrated.

A Detailed Look at Using TALONS for Interconnecting Telescope Systems: Moving beyond RAPTOR
R.R. White, W.T. Vestrand, J. Wren, and P. Wozniak

For the past three years the RAPTOR (RAPid Telescopes for Optical Response) system has been in closed loop operation. The key to reaching that engineering goal was the creation of the Telescope Alert Operations Network System (TALONS). This system provides a means for telescopes to communicate bi-directionally with each other. While conceived originally to only support RAPTOR, we expanded the code early on with the idea of allowing many other outside telescope clients to have access to the system. TALONS is a network server that allows intercommunication of alert triggers from external and internal resources and controls the distribution of these to each of the telescopes on the network. TALONS is designed to grow, allowing any number of telescopes to be linked together and communicate. Coupled with an intelligent alert client software at each telescope, it can analyze and respond to each distributed TALONS alert based on the telescopes needs and schedule. TALONS also contains a series of modules for Collaborative Processing that can identify common events seen by multiple clients. In this talk will we show each of the elements of TALONS and how they relate to each other and to each client telescope.

The ROTSE Network: Worldwide Robotic GRB-Hunting
Yost, S.A.; Aharonian, F.; Akerlof, C.W.; Ashley, M.C.B.; Bizyaev, D.; Casperson, D.; Guver, T.; Horns, D.; Kehoe, R.L.; Kiziloglu, ‹.; McKay, T.A.; ÷zel, M.E.; Phillips, M.A.; Quimby, R.; Rykoff, E.S.; Schaefer, B.; Smith, D.A.; Swan, H.F.; Vestrand, W.T.; Wheeler, J.C.; Wren, J.

ROTSE is a network of 4 robotic 0.45m optical telescopes, placed around the globe. They are designed to look for early optical emission from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) by rapidly responding to automated Internet alerts. The array has a relatively high livetime, and a typical response of ~8 s from alert generation to the initial exposure of the target. With the realtime alerts from NASA's Swift satellite, ROTSE's speed allows it to explore a unique window on GRB behavior. When not responding to alerts, ROTSE self-schedules observations with 30% of the night allocated to local collaborators, and the remaining 70% to a systematic nightly sky patrol. Time-trading between the 4 local collaborator groups is done informally, providing the possibility for near-continuous optical monitoring of interesting objects.

   © 2005 Alasdair Allan <