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6 July 2018 General-purpose software for managing astronomical observing programs in the LSST era
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Abstract
Modern astronomical surveys such as the Large Synoptic Sky Survey (LSST) promise an unprecedented wealth of discoveries, delivered in the form of 10 million alerts of time-variable events per night. Astronomers are faced with the daunting challenge of identifying the most scientifically important events from this flood of data in order to conduct effective and timely follow-up observations. Several ongoing observing programs have proven databases to be extremely valuable in conducting efficient follow-up, particularly when combined with tools to select targets, submit observation requests directly to groundand space-based facilities (manual, remotely-operated and robotic), handle the resulting data, interface with analysis software and share information with collaborators. We draw on experience from a number of follow-up programs running at LCOGT, all of which have independently developed systems to provide these capabilities, including the Microlensing Key Project (RoboNet, PI: Tsapras, co-I Street), the Global Supernova Project (SNEx, PI: Howell) and the Near-Earth Object Project (NEOExchange, PI: Lister). We refer to these systems in general as Target and Observation Managers (TOMs). Future projects, facing a much greater and rapidly-growing list of potential targets, will find such tools to be indispensable, but the systems developed to date are highly specialized to the projects they serve and are not designed to scale to the LSST alert rate. We present a project to develop a general-purpose software toolkit that will enable astronomers to easily build TOM systems that they can customize to suit their needs, while a professionally-developed codebase will ensure that the systems are capable of scaling to future programs.
Conference Presentation
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
R. A. Street, M. Bowman, E. S. Saunders, and T. Boroson "General-purpose software for managing astronomical observing programs in the LSST era", Proc. SPIE 10707, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy V, 1070711 (6 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2312293
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