6 July 2018 A complete automatization of an educational observatory at INAF-OATs
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Abstract
The Astronomical Observatory of Trieste (OATs), part of the Italian Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), hosts a Celestron C14 telescope, equipped with a robotic Paramount ME equatorial mount, used for public outreach. The telescope is installed inside a dome, recently upgraded with a Beckhoff PLC control system, a SIEMENS inverter for the communication with the motor of the dome's roof, and further equipment to allow the complete automatization of the system. A peculiarity of the system is that, when operating, the telescope may exceed the height of the roof: due to this fact the telescope pointing is constrained by the full opening of the roof and, oppositely, the closing of the roof is allowed only when the telescope is in park position. Appropriate sensors are installed to monitor the position of the telescope to properly handle the complete opening or closing of the roof. Several emergency operations are also foreseen, for example in case of bad weather or lost connection with the user. The PLC software has been developed using TwinCAT software. An OPC-UA server is installed in the PLC and allows the communication with a web interface. The web GUI, developed in PHP and Javascript, allows the user to perform the remote operations like switching on all the instrumentations, open the dome's roof, park the telescope and view the status of the system. Furthermore through TheSkyX software it is possible to perform the pointing of the telescope and its set up. A dedicated script, interfaced with TheSkyX, have been implemented to perform a complete automated acquisition. An appropriate data storage system is foreseen. All these elements, that cooperate to create a fully remoted controlled system, are presented in this paper.
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
V. Baldini, G. Calderone, F. Cepparo, R. Cirami, I. Coretti, P. Di Marcantonio, G. Iafrate, E. Londero, and S. Zorba "A complete automatization of an educational observatory at INAF-OATs", Proc. SPIE 10707, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy V, 107072C (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312460; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2312460
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