13 September 2012 Remote observing with NASA's Deep Space Network
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The Deep Space Network (DSN) communicates with spacecraft as far away as the boundary between the Solar System and the interstellar medium. To make this possible, large sensitive antennas at Canberra, Australia, Goldstone, California, and Madrid, Spain, provide for constant communication with interplanetary missions. We describe the procedures for radioastronomical observations using this network. Remote access to science monitor and control computers by authorized observers is provided by two-factor authentication through a gateway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. To make such observations practical, we have devised schemes based on SSH tunnels and distributed computing. At the very minimum, one can use SSH tunnels and VNC (Virtual Network Computing, a remote desktop software suite) to control the science hosts within the DSN Flight Operations network. In this way we have controlled up to three telescopes simultaneously. However, X-window updates can be slow and there are issues involving incompatible screen sizes and multi-screen displays. Consequently, we are now developing SSH tunnel-based schemes in which instrument control and monitoring, and intense data processing, are done on-site by the remote DSN hosts while data manipulation and graphical display are done at the observer's host. We describe our approaches to various challenges, our experience with what worked well and lessons learned, and directions for future development.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
T. B. H. Kuiper, T. B. H. Kuiper, W. A. Majid, W. A. Majid, S. Martinez, S. Martinez, C. Garcia-Miro, C. Garcia-Miro, J. R. Rizzo, J. R. Rizzo, "Remote observing with NASA's Deep Space Network", Proc. SPIE 8448, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems IV, 84480T (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925201; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.925201


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