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A telescope control and scheduling system for the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO)

This paper describes the GOTO Telescope Control System (G-TeCS), a custom robotic control system written in Python which autonomously manages the telescope hardware and nightly operations.

The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) is a wide-field telescope project aimed at detecting optical counterparts to gravitational wave sources. The prototype instrument was inaugurated in July 2017 on La Palma in the Canary Islands. We describe the GOTO Telescope Control System (G-TeCS), a custom robotic control system written in Python which autonomously manages the telescope hardware and nightly operations. The system comprises of multiple independent control daemons, which are supervised by a master control program known as the "pilot". Observations are decided by a "just-in-time" scheduler, which instructs the pilot what to observe in real time and provides quick follow-up of transient events.
Date
2018-07-10
Author(s)
Dyer, Martin J.; Dhillon, Vik S.; Littlefair, Stuart; Steeghs, Danny; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Chote, Paul; Galloway, Duncan; Rol, Evert
DOI
10.1117/12.2311865