AAS 197, January 2001
Session 120. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy III
Joint Oral, Thursday, January 11, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Pacific One

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[120.01] The Development of Advanced-Technology Automated/Robotic Telescope Systems for Astronomy Education and Research

J. C. Mulherin, R. J. Williams (Torus Technologies, Inc.)

During the 1990s groups at universities around the world developed small working automated/robotic telescopes that proved the feasibility of using such systems for education and research projects. A few of the more successful projects such as the Bradford Robotic Observatory in the United Kingdom and the University of Iowa’s Automated Telescope Facility (AFT) and Iowa Robotic Observatory (IRO) programs proved how useful and powerful these systems can be in practice. This paper describes how one company, Torus Technologies, developed hardware and software technologies to create advanced integrated small automated/robotic telescope systems. These systems were designed from the “bottom up” to be automated/robotic telescopes capable of operating an entire observatory including domes, CCD cameras, and other peripheral equipment.

Automated/robotic telescopes can play a major role in enabling small colleges and universities, especially in developing countries, to actively participate in serious “hands on” research and education projects that otherwise would not be practical. A commercially available affordable, high-precision, and proven turnkey automated/robotic small telescope system capable of operating remotely via the Internet is crucial for bringing this technology into widespread use. Today Torus Technologies telescopes are installed at locations world wide as the primary instruments of research programs, discovery and monitoring programs, and education programs. This paper describes some of the current applications for using these telescopes and how these telescope systems will be used in the future in standalone installations and in global networks.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.torusoptics.com. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: torusoptics@email.msn.com

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