RSAA Telescope Automation and Remote Observing System (TAROS)

TAROS is a remote observing software system that has been designed and implemented at RSAA. The system allows the ANU telescopes at a remote location to be operated automatically, or interactively with authenticated control via the internet.

TAROS is comprised of several sub-systems which handle such things as detector control, acquisition and guiding, instrument component control, telescope control, data archiving and communications. All data taken with TAROS is archived and a database is used to store information about each observation.

TAROS is operated by a Java front-end GUI and employs the use of several Java technologies, including as Java Message Service (JMS) for communication between the telescope and the remote observer, Java Native Interface to integrate existing data acquisition software written in C++ (CICADA) with new Java programs, and the JSky collection of Java GUI components for parts of the remote observer client. TAROS is implemented using the programming languages C, C++ and Java. It is a distributed, multi-threaded and multi-process system. Processes communicate with each other using standard and reliable protocols.

Currently, TAROS is used to remotely observe, or observe on-site, with 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 Wide-field Spectrograph (WiFeS), and the 2.3m Imager.

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