TAROS user manual

The Telescope Automation and Remote Observing System (TAROS) has been developed by the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) to allow remote control and/or automation of its telescopes at Siding Spring Observatory.

Currently, TAROS is used for remote and on-site operation of the 2.3m telescope and to provide automated, queue-scheduled operation of the SkyMapper telescope. The instruments available via TAROS at the 2.3m are the WiFeS integral-field spectrograph, the Imager and the Echelle spectrograph.

TAROS is comprised of several sub-systems which handle detector control, acquisition and guiding, instrument component control, telescope control, data archiving and communications. All data taken with TAROS is archived to secure storage on the ANU main campus in Canberra.

For remote observing, a Java user interface has been developed with the aim of allowing the observer to work from home over a broadband connection (minimum 8 Mbps). For automated observing, an observation scheduler has been developed in a way that allows specialised schedulers to be developed to suit individual observing programmes.

This manual is concerned with the operation of TAROS for interactive remote and on-site observing.