Volume 395, Number 2, November IV 2002
|Page(s)||727 - 731|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||14 November 2002|
RTML – a standard for use of remote telescopes
Enabling ubiquitous use of remote telescopes
University of California, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Bld. 50, room 5036, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2 Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements (CESR/CNRS), 9 Av. du Colonel Roche, BP 4346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France e-mail: Michel.Boer@cesr.fr
3 DC-3 Dreams, SP,6665 E. Vanguard St., Mesa, AZ, 85215, USA e-mail: email@example.com
4 Universitats-Sternwarte Gottingen, Geismarlandstrasse 11, Gottingen, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
5 University of California Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Bld. 50, room 5036, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA e-mail: JCAymon@lbl.gov
6 University of New Mexico, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 800 Yale N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA e-mail: email@example.com
7 University of California Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Bld. 50, room 5036, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Western Kentucky University, Department of Physics, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green Kentucky, 422101, USA e-mail: David.Barnaby@wku.edu
9 Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609, USA e-mail: gordon.spear@SONOMA.EDU
10 Yerkes Observatory, 373 W. Geneva St,Williams Bay, Wisconsin 53191, USA e-mail: email@example.com
Corresponding author: C. Pennypacker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 9 September 2002
The scientific need for a homogenous remote telescope image request system is rapidly escalating as more remote or robotic telescopes are brought to function and scientific programs are created or adapted to use such powerful telescopes. To respond to this need, we have drafted a protocol – “Remote Telescope Markup Language" (Version 2.1) – which has enabled us to implement a non-homogeneous network of imaging telescopes capable of processing requests for the acquisition and retrieval of simple astronomical images. This protocol is designed to be independent of the specific instrumentation and software that control the remote and/or robotic telescopes. It embeds traditional astronomical features such as coordinates and exposure times, and allows for prioritized queue scheduling of telescopes while protecting the telescope operating system. The prioritization supports high-stakes interruption of other observations – “Targets of Opportunity" like optical detection of gamma-ray bursts or other transient events. Some generality in this definition and flexibility is desirable, so that a broad variety of objects and observations can be accommodated within this standard. A number of professional observatories, telescope hardware/software companies, and amateur astronomers are already working with this version of RTML and a large body of additional professional and amateur users willing to share observing time and/or provide observations for scientific or educational use could easily adopt this protocol. The next generation mark-up language (RTML 3) will include elements necessary to schedule more complex observations, enabling its use in practically all ground-based and satellite observatories.
Key words: telescopes
© ESO, 2002
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