12 July 2008 Remote observing with the Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory
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Abstract
We describe a project to enable remote observing on the Nickel 1-meter Telescope at Lick Observatory. The purpose was to increase the subscription rate and create more economical means for graduate- and undergraduate students to observe with this telescope. The Nickel Telescope resides in a 125 year old dome on Mount Hamilton. Remote observers may work from any of the University of California (UC) remote observing facilities that have been created to support remote work at both Keck Observatory and Lick Observatory. The project included hardware and software upgrades to enable computer control of all equipment that must be operated by the astronomer; a remote observing architecture that is closely modeled on UCO/Lick's work to implement remote observing between UC campuses and Keck Observatory; new policies to ensure safety of Observatory staff and equipment, while ensuring that the telescope subsystems would be suitably configured for remote use; and new software to enforce the safety-related policies. The results increased the subscription rate from a few nights per month to nearly full subscription, and has spurred the installation of remote observing sites at more UC campuses. Thanks to the increased automation and computer control, local observing has also benefitted and is more efficient. Remote observing is now being implemented for the Shane 3- meter telescope.
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Bryant Grigsby, Konstantinos Chloros, John Gates, William T. S. Deich, Elinor Gates, Robert Kibrick, "Remote observing with the Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory", Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 701627 (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789490; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.789490
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