27 November 2002 Distributed control system for rapid astronomical transient detection
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Abstract
The Rapid Telescope for Optical Response (RAPTOR) program consists of a network of robotic telescopes dedicated to the search for fast optical transients. The pilot project is composed of three observatories separated by approximately 38 kilometers located near Los Alamos, New Mexico. Each of these observatories is composed of a telescope, mount, enclosure, and weather station, all operating robotically to perform individual or coordinated transient searches. The telescopes employ rapidly slewing mounts capable of slewing a 250 pound load 180 degrees in under 2 seconds with arcsecond precision. Each telescope consists of wide-field cameras for transient detection and a narrow-field camera with greater resolution and sensitivity. The telescopes work together by employing a closed-loop system for transient detection and follow-up. Using the combined data from simultaneous observations, transient alerts are generated and distributed via the Internet. Each RAPTOR telescope also has the capability of rapidly responding to external transient alerts received over the Internet from a variety of ground-based and satellite sources. Each observatory may be controlled directly, remotely, or robotically while providing state-of-health and observational results to the client and the other RAPTOR observatories. We discuss the design and implementation of the spatially distributed RAPTOR system.
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James A. Wren, Konstantin N. Borozdin, Steven P. Brumby, Donald E. Casperson, Mark C. Galassi, Katherine McGowan, Daniel Starr, W. Thomas Vestrand, Robert White, Przemek Wozniak, "Distributed control system for rapid astronomical transient detection", Proc. SPIE 4845, Advanced Global Communications Technologies for Astronomy II, (27 November 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.459507; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.459507
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