Development of the Arizona Robotic Telescope Network

Benjamin J. Weiner, David Sand, Paul Gabor, Chris Johnson, Scott Swindell, Petr Kubánek, Victor Gasho, Taras Golota, Buell Jannuzi, Peter Milne, Nathan Smith, Dennis Zaritsky

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

4 Scopus citations


The Arizona Robotic Telescope Network (ARTN) project is a long term effort to develop a system of telescopes to carry out a flexible program of PI observing, survey projects, and time domain astrophysics including monitoring, rapid response, and transient/target-of-opportunity followup. Steward Observatory operates and shares in several 1-3m class telescopes with quality sites and instrumentation, largely operated in classical modes. Science programs suited to these telescopes are limited by scheduling flexibility and people-power of available observers. Our goal is to adapt these facilities for multiple co-existing queued programs, interrupt capability, remote/robotic operation, and delivery of reduced data. In the long term, planning for the LSST era, we envision an automated system coordinating across multiple telescopes and sites, where alerts can trigger followup, classification, and triggering of further observations if required, such as followup imaging that can trigger spectroscopy. We are updating telescope control systems and software to implement this system in stages, beginning with the Kuiper 61” and Vatican Observatory 1.8-m telescopes. The Kuiper 61” and its Mont4K camera can now be controlled and queue-scheduled by the RTS2 observatory control software, and operated from a remote room at Steward. We discuss science and technical requirements for ARTN, and some of the challenges in adapting heterogenous legacy facilities, scheduling, data pipelines, and maintaining capabilities for a diverse user base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObservatory Operations
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Processes, and Systems VII
EditorsRobert L. Seaman, Alison B. Peck, Chris R. Benn
ISBN (Electronic)9781510619616
StatePublished - 2018
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 11 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Queue scheduling
  • Remote observing
  • Robotic telescopes
  • Time-domain astronomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of the Arizona Robotic Telescope Network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this