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16 September 2004 SOAR remote observing: tactics and early results
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Travel from North America to the 4.1m SOAR telescope atop Cerro Pachon exceeds $1000, and takes >16 hours door to door (20+ hours typically). SOAR aims to exploit best seeing, requiring dynamic scheduling that is impossible to accomplish when catering to peripatetic astronomers. According to technical arguments at, we are near the peak rate of depleting world petroleum, so can expect travel costs to climb sharply. With the telecom bubble's glut of optical fiber, we can transmit data more efficiently than astronomers and "observe remotely". With data compression, less than half of the 6 Mbps bandwidth shared currently by SOAR and CTIO is enough to enable a high-fidelity observing presence for SOAR partners in North America, Brazil, and Chile. We discuss access from home by cable modem/DSL link.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gerald N. Cecil and J. Adam Crain "SOAR remote observing: tactics and early results", Proc. SPIE 5493, Optimizing Scientific Return for Astronomy through Information Technologies, (16 September 2004);

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