6 August 2014 Novel scheduling approaches in the era of multi-telescope networks
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Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) is developing a worldwide network of fully robotic optical telescopes dedicated to time-domain astronomy. Observatory automation, longitudinal spacing of the sites, and a centralised network scheduler enable a range of observing modes impossible with traditional manual observing from a single location. We discuss the design goals of the LCOGT network scheduler, and in particular examine the unique network characteristics we seek to exploit for novel observing. We present an analysis of the key design trade-offs informing the scheduling architecture and data model, with special emphasis on both the unusual capabilities we have implemented, and some of the limitations of our approach. Finally, we describe some of the lessons we have learnt as we have moved from the beta test phase into full operational deployment in 2014.
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E. S. Saunders, S. Lampoudi, T. A. Lister, M. Norbury, Z. Walker, "Novel scheduling approaches in the era of multi-telescope networks", Proc. SPIE 9149, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems V, 91490E (6 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056642; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056642

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