Abstract Details

Title: ACE Observatory Control System - 16 years of remote intercontinental observing

Authors: P. Mack

Institute/Affiliation: Astronomical Consultants and Equipment Inc

Abstract Type: poster

Abstract Information:

The ACE Observatory Control System has been used for remote control since 1995. The system was designed for use at isolated observatories with no-one present on the mountain-top. The software provides complete diagnostic feedback to the astronomer and is supplemented by live audio-visual. Accessories include environmental sensors (weather station, all-sky camera, constellation cameras), automated mirror covers and remote power control. This gives the astronomer the same experience as being present at the observatory.

The system is installed on 30 telescopes and many of them are used for routine nightly intercontinental observations, such as Taejeon (S. Korea) to Mt. Lemmon (Arizona) and southeast USA to KPNO and CTIO.

The system has fully integrated autoguider acquisition and science camera control. We describe the building blocks of the system and the accessories including automated mirror covers, weather station, all sky camera, remote power control and dome control.

Future plans are presented for a fully autonomous platform-independent scheduler and robot for use on multiple telescopes.