Abstract Details

Title: The Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT): First Five Years of Fully Autonomous Operation

Authors: R. Gelderman, M. T. Carini, D. R. Davis, S. G. Engle, E. F. Guinan, C. H. Mcgruder Iii, L- G. Strolger, E. F. Tedesco, And D. K. Walter

Institute/Affiliation: Western Kentucky University - Robotically Controlled Telescope Consortium

Abstract Type: poster

Abstract Information:

We review the status of the 1.3-meter Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT), located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. Through the efforts of a consortium of institutions, the RCT has been refurbished and automated to obtain optical images in support of a wide variety of astrophysical research investigations. The refurbished RCT came back on line in 2003, with observing undertaken via pre-scheduled scripts. Since 2007 the observatory has operated in a fully autonomous mode to acquire observations for the numerous and diverse research programs being pursued by the consortium membership and for guest observers. Many challenges and obstacles have been overcome throughout the refurbishment and automation, allowing this venerable telescope to continue its productive history.