The Lowell Telescope Scheduler: A System to Provide Non-Professional Access to Large Automatic Telescopes

K. Binsted, N. Bradley, M. Buie, S. Ibara, M. Kadooka, and D. Shirae (USA)

Keywords

astronomy, education, scheduling, telescope, webbased interface

Abstract

Here we describe the Lowell Telescope Scheduler (LTS), a system which allows high-school students and other non-professional users to propose research projects and request observations on a 31-inch telescope at Lowell Observatory. At the heart of the system is an automatic scheduler, which allows the principal investigator at the telescope to quickly and easily integrate outside observation requests into his nightly viewing schedule. The system also has a web-based interface which allows inexperienced telescope users to make reasonably sophisticated observation requests. The system is currently being used by students at Oregon Episcopal School who are particularly interested in observing the comet Tempel One, the target of the Deep Impact mission.

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