45 Years of Telescope Automation at MIT’s Wallace Astrophysical Observatory

Brothers, Tim C. (2018) 45 Years of Telescope Automation at MIT’s Wallace Astrophysical Observatory. In: Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education (RTSRE) Conference, June 18-21, 2017, San Diego, California, USA.

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Official URL: https://rtsre.net/ojs/index.php/rtsreconfproc

Abstract

Since the conception of the George R. Wallace Jr. Astrophysical Observatory (WAO) at MIT in 1971 we have had a focus on applying cutting-edge technology to astronomical equipment and enabling automated or remote observing for scientists and students alike. A key strength of our program has been including undergraduates in the research, design, and construction of systems. These experiences have led to breakthroughs that have been invaluable for both the observatory and the observers. Wallace Observatory was also the site of the first robotic telescope conference (1975), “Telescope Automation,” which set stringent goals to which we compare our observatory today. Forty-five years later, looking back on the days of punch cards and tape reels at WAO, we must now ask, did we achieve the goals set out for us in the 1970’s? Here, we discuss this question and examine our more recent efforts to automate our modern educational telescopes while looking forward to an exciting upgrade to one of our original telescope domes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
RTSRE Related Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2018 10:17
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 23:51
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/1999

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