Remotely controlled optical telescopes allow many observers to access astrophysical images of the sky and allow for dynamic scheduling of transient objects. This project will coordinate with IBM, and universities around the country through its Cognitive Telescope Network, to develop a remotely controlled telescope and camera system for Illinois Tech’s TOA-130F (Takahashi) 5” refracting telescope.
The project will involve integrating software control of the telescope hardware (pointing, camera control, target selection) and commissioning of the telescope for remote use. This project will also investigate the costs and energy use of siting a telescope at a remote observing site in Colorado. An important goal is to design a system that is as environmentally friendly as possible. In this spirit, we will explore a net zero energy environment for running the site, meaning that the total amount of energy used for the system and its associated infrastructure is no greater than the renewable energy created on site.
Students representing a variety of disciplines can make important contributions to this project, including, but not limited to: applied mathematics, architecture, business, physics, computer science, engineering (aerospace, civil, computer, electrical, materials, mechanical) and others with a passion and curiosity for astronomy in general!