Robotic Telescopes: An Interactive Exhibit on the World-Wide Web

Cox, Mark J. and Baruch, John, E. F. (1994) Robotic Telescopes: An Interactive Exhibit on the World-Wide Web. In: Proc 2nd International World-Wide Web Conference.


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The World-Wide Web can be thought of as a distributed multimedia museum. Museums try to attract a wide audience by making their information as interesting as possible. One way they accomplish this and provide a complete learning experience is to use interactive exhibits to challenge and stimulate visitors. This is also true for information on the World-Wide Web, where interactive applications excite users and gain media attention. These novel applications are a form of virtual reality that seamlessly connects users with remote applications and simulations around the world. The University of Bradford have a prototype low-cost autonomous telescope using a World-Wide Web gateway to provide access for schools, amateurs and professionals. This seamlessly integrates the telescope into the rest of the Web allowing user manuals, live reports, and astronomy lessons all to be accessible from the same interface. The telescope is controlled robotically using a simple form interface where jobs are submitted in advance, or remotely for real-time events. Using the World-Wide Web makes an interface to the telescope available on most computer platforms and hence widely accessible. In this paper the design and implementation is discussed. It is found that some modifications to the protocols to aid remote control of equipment are useful but not essential: It is recognised that it is important not to over-complicate the protocols by adding specific features for every new innovative application.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: RTSRE Related Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 27 May 2017 05:04
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:10

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