Heterogeneous Telescope Networks

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January 09, 2014

Heterogeneous Telescope Networks

Frederic Hessman



January 09, 2014


  1. Heterogeneous Telescope Networks Frederic “Rick” Hessman Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

  2. The (original) Background •  Time-domain astronomy demands flexibility •  Large

    telescopes are inherently inflexible •  Small telescopes can be easily operated more flexibly •  There are various scientific/institutional reasons not to dedicate small telescope resources to a particular project •  “All” one needs is to be able to pool resources January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   2  
  3. The History January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng  

    3    Exeter  2005    GöAngen  2006  
  4. The Need January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng  

    4   Gamma-­‐Ray  Bursts   Catalina  Sky  Survey   Las  Cumbres   LSST  
  5. The Idea of a Telescope eMarket January  9,  2014  

    LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   5   HTN  Server   HTN  Client   Broadcast  of  poten9al   services  (with  details!)   Request  for  a  quote  on  a   par9cular  observa9on   Principle  acceptance   indicated     Order  for  a  par9cular   observa9on   Denial  or  acknowledgement   and  unique  ID  given   Status  /  Abort  request   Status  info   Report  /  Data  
  6. The Protocol : Remote Telescope Markup Language January  9,  2014

      LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   6   abort        offer   acknowledged    reject   complete        report   confirm        request   fail          resource   incomplete      update   inquiry   e.g.  White  &  Allan  2008  
  7. The Reality / The Lessons •  It takes a while

    (longer than one thinks) to get any system running, much less a heterogeneous one •  Career paths of major players are relevant •  “Simpler” networks are already very complicated •  API != implementation and one person’s particular implementation may not be another’s •  Good science drivers are needed to overcome the sociological/institutional inertia January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   7  
  8. HTN’s “Dornröschenschlaf” •  VOEvent has matured (content & delivery) • 

    Many on-going surveys (OGLE, CSS, CRTS, PTF, Pan-STARRS, LOFAR, GAIA, …) need follow-ups •  Las Cumbres Observatory •  Many new “minor” players with resources and potential interest •  Need to create and exercise now the infrastructure needed tomorrow by even bigger surveys like LSST, SKA, … January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   8   potental  networked  science   thorny    problems   HTN  
  9. The Problems Assume –  some widespread principle interest in providing/sharing

    resources without cumbersome institutional politics –  the software to make participation “easy” is available What might prevent/stop a HTN effort? –  science goals not well-defined enough? –  too much heterogeneity? –  too little heterogeneity? –  too little benefit for the effort? –  quality control? January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   9  
  10. The Generic Proposal •  Create a suite of tools to

    help make any telescope (manual, remote, robotic) principally VOEvent- aware and HTN-compatible with a “minimum of effort” •  Encourage the creation of science-driven consortia to operate VOEvent-driven and HTN-connected networks January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   10  
  11. The Specific Proposal •  Interested parties join forces to create

    an open-source HTN- client with –  an absolute minimum level of complexity (use & installation) –  transport exactly like VOEvent –  example of manual and automatic interfaces practically “out of the box” –  some help in interfacing (e.g. simple mapping of schemata) –  configurable for multiple consortia –  define minimum standards of client calibration/participation •  Create an open-source HTN-Server to foster creation of consortia January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   11  
  12. The Summary •  The original HTN idea was slightly ahead

    of its time •  Things have changed/progressed •  We need to respond now to the “follow-up crisis” •  The sociological/institutional compunctions against joining a heterogeneous network can be overcome •  We just need to make it easy to join one or more networks by providing standard tools and simple implementations January  9,  2014   LOFAR  Transient  Mee9ng   12