The New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory will use a distributed system to control the telescope,
dome, adaptive optics, thermal environment and instrumentation. The Telescope Pointing and Tracking Subsystem
has the tasks of controlling the telescope dome and acting as a wrapper for the telescope mount software
(provided by the mount manufacturer) and adding the specific control features needed for a large solar telescope.
These include features for offset pointing to specific regions on the solar disk, safety interlock systems for the
primary mirror, and provision for the alignment of the relatively small dome opening with the telescope optical
Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) is building the 1.6 meter New Solar Telescope (NST). The Telescope Control
System (TCS) of NST consists of many systems and applications and heterogeneous computer platforms. It is a critical
task to design a robust, flexible and reliable - yet not over-complicated - communications for TCS. This paper describes
the design and implementation of NST's communication software and protocols. The software is based on the Internet
communication engine (Ice) middleware and uses eXtensible Markup Language (XML) for messaging.
The 1.6-meter New Solar Telescope (NST) will replace the 65 cm reflector that is currently being used at Big Bear Solar
Observatory (BBSO). Some technologies new to solar telescopes, including Active Optics, will be employed in NST
project. The goal of Active Optics is to correct the low frequency telescope aberrations by adjusting the figure of primary
mirror and the position of the secondary mirror. The Active Optics Control Subsystem (AOCS) is part of the Telescope
Control System (TCS) for NST. The AOCS will cooperate with the Wavefront Sensing Control Subsystem to correct the
lower order aberrations of the telescope system. When fully developed, it will work in close-loop. The wavefront aberration
information will be obtained from the wavefront sensor and corresponding corrections will be applied to the primary mirror
and the secondary mirror. In this paper, the design and the implementation of the AOCS will be described in detail.
The New Solar Telescope (NST) is an advanced solar telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). It features a 1.6-m clear aperture with an off-axis Gregorian configuration. An open structure will be employed to improve the local seeing. The NST Telescope Control System (TCS) is a complex system, which provides powerful and robust control over the entire telescope system. At the same time, it needs to provide a simple and clear user interface to scientists and observers. We present an overview of the design and implementation of the TCS as a distributed system including its several subsystems such as the Telescope Pointing and Tracking Subsystem, Wavefront Sensing Subsystem etc. The communications between different subsystems are handled by the Internet Communication Engine (Ice) middleware.
The New Solar Telescope (NST) project at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) now has all major contracts
for design and fabrication in place and construction of components is well underway. NST is a collaboration
between BBSO, the Korean Astronomical Observatory (KAO) and Institute for Astronomy (IfA) at the University
of Hawaii. The project will install a 1.6-meter, off-axis telescope at BBSO, replacing a number of older solar
telescopes. The NST will be located in a recently refurbished dome on the BBSO causeway, which projects
300 meters into the Big Bear Lake. Recent site surveys have confirmed that BBSO is one of the premier solar
observing sites in the world. NST will be uniquely equipped to take advantage of the long periods of excellent
seeing common at the lake site. An up-to-date progress report will be presented including an overview of the
project and details on the current state of the design. The report provides a detailed description of the optical
design, the thermal control of the new dome, the optical support structure, the telescope control systems, active
and adaptive optics systems, and the post-focus instrumentation for high-resolution spectro-polarimetry.