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Optimal real-time scheduling for observations of transients across global telescope networks.


World-spanning networks of robotic telescopes have opened up new opportunities for the regime of time-domain astronomy. The deployment of such networks comes along with the roll-out of a new generation of powerful surveys that provide "transient factories", calling for prompt and extensive follow-up monitoring. How can such resources be used efficiently and how can observations be coordinated While the scheduling of telescopes so far has mostly been discussed from the perspective of service providers, we need to look at this from the perspective of the community of users who want to achieve a scientific objective using a diversity of resources coming from different providers. The selection of a specific target to be observed at a specific time by a specific instrument needs to take into account: 1) the science goals, 2) the acquired data on all potentially relevant targets, 3) the technical specifications of the instrument, 4) the observability of the targets. In particular, target priorities will change as fast as the targets vary themselves and data therefore need to be analysed in quasi-real time in order not to miss critical features. Consequently, a large amount of data need to be pulled together and processed immediately, while continuous monitoring requires uninterrupted operability. Within larger user communities, objective functions and resulting monitoring strategies also need to consider the ownership of data and both individual and collective benefits. The University of St Andrews has pioneered the implementation of automated target selection strategies for the follow-up of ongoing gravitational microlensing events with the LCOGT/SUPAscope and MiNDSTEp networks. Students will face a technology challenge on data processing, modelling, and management at the intersection of astronomy and computer science, matching the requirement to achieve a fast throughput. Solutions to this sort of problem will likely to be transferable to serve applications in other areas.

Project completion date : 2022-12-31 12:00:00

Major organization : UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS

Address : College Gate

St Andrews

KY16 9AJ


Country :United Kingdom

Url :

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Dec 19, 2018
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