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2 January 2002 Automation of coordinated planning between observatories: the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT)
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Fulfilling the promise of the era of great observatories, NASA now has more than three space-based astronomical telescopes operating in different wavebands. This situation provides astronomers with the unique opportunity of simultaneously observing a target in multiple wavebands with these observatories. Currently scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously, for coordinated observations, is highly inefficient. Coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among the observatory staff at each observatory. Because they are time-consuming and expensive to schedule, observatories often limit the number of coordinated observations that can be conducted. In order to exploit new paradigms for observatory operation, the Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a tool called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of VOLT is to provide a visual tool to automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories. Four of NASA's space-based astronomical observatories - the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and Chandra - are enthusiastically pursuing the use of VOLT. This paper will focus on the purpose for developing VOLT, as well as the lessons learned during the infusion of VOLT into the planning and scheduling operations of these observatories.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Lori Maks, Anuradha Koratkar, Uri Kerbel, and Vincent Pell "Automation of coordinated planning between observatories: the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT)", Proc. SPIE 4844, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III, (2 January 2002);


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