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

Martin J. Dyer, Vik S. Dhillon, Stuart Littlefair, Danny Steeghs, Krzysztof Ulaczyk, Paul Chote, Duncan Galloway, Evert Rol, GOTO Collaboration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018; Austin; United States; 11 June 2018 through 15 June 2018
EditorsAlison B Peck, Robert L Seaman, Chris R Benn
Place of PublicationBellingham Washington USA
PublisherSPIE
Number of pages15
Volume10704
ISBN (Electronic)9781510619623
ISBN (Print)9781510619616
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018 - Austin, United States of America
Duration: 11 Jun 201815 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameProcedings of SPIE
PublisherSPIE
Volume10704
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018
CountryUnited States of America
CityAustin
Period11/06/1815/06/18

Keywords

  • Automatic control
  • Autonomous observation
  • Gravitational waves
  • Methods: Observational
  • Software
  • Telescopes
  • Transient follow-up

Cite this

Dyer, M. J., Dhillon, V. S., Littlefair, S., Steeghs, D., Ulaczyk, K., Chote, P., Galloway, D., Rol, E., & GOTO Collaboration (2018). A telescope control and scheduling system for the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO). In A. B. Peck, R. L. Seaman, & C. R. Benn (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering: Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018; Austin; United States; 11 June 2018 through 15 June 2018 (Vol. 10704). [107040C] (Procedings of SPIE; Vol. 10704). SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2311865