Proc. SPIE. 8451, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II
KEYWORDS: Human-machine interfaces, Observatories, Databases, Interfaces, Computing systems, Space telescopes, Software development, Space operations, James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
The Space Telescope Science Institute's development of the James Webb Space Telescope's science operations systems
has benefitted from and has been a benefit to the current operations for the Hubble Space Telescope. Changes and
improvements to systems shared by both missions have helped the HST mission keep up with newer technologies, while
providing a free, live testbed for further JWST development.
The Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) is an integrated software package for the preparation of observing proposals and plans. It was developed by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) to support Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observing, but it has also been designed so that other observatories can reuse it. The goal of APT is to provide a single user-friendly interface to much of the software that is needed by HST proposers and observers. APT was released in autumn 2002 and has since been used for two cycles of HST observing. This paper will illustrate some of the capabilities and functions of APT including a graphical editor, a display of how science exposures and overhead activities fit into HST orbits, and a timeline of when a observation's constraints can and cannot be met during an observing cycle. Experiences of the first two years of APT operation will also be discussed. Some of the user feedback will be described, and APT's impact on HST observing program implementation work at STScI will be explained. Based on all of this operational experience, several changes have been made to the APT software. These changes will be described.