OSETI WITH SMALL ROBOTIC TELESCOPES
Astronomical Institute of the
Academy of Science of the Czech Republic,
251 65 Ondrejov, Czech Republic
Technical University Ostrava, trida 28.rijna,
Ostrava Poruba, Czech Republic
Copyright: Stuart Kingsley
The current state of the design and development of a modest robotic telescope based on commercially available parts (10 inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Santa Barbara Instrument Group [SBIG] CCD cameras, OSETI instrumentation, PC computers, Windows 95 operating system) are discussed with emphasis on the application to OSETI. The authors provide explanation of the software design and its use for remote control purposes via the Internet.
This software uses the Universal Internet Shell (UIS), and the UIS drives the telescope, CCD cameras, appropriate OSETI instrumentation and communicates with local and remote servers. Also, the UIS receives e-mail messages, prepares lists of observing targets, provides observations and sends accumulated data to the users.
The robotic telescope under discussion was developed to make follow-up observations of gamma-ray-burst optical-counterparts which correlate with data from the Gamma Ray Observatory satellite. However, the system's flexibility allows it to be put to other scientific uses, in particular, for conducting Optical SETI observations. This work is based upon an international cooperative effort between Dr. Stuart Kingsley, Director of The Columbus Optical SETI Observatory and our Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic.