Oral Abstract

Oral Contribution (O7.3) Vanessa Moss (CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science)

Theme: Telescope operations and scheduling: from classical to autonomous

Preparing for the next generation of radio observatory operations

Operations of radio telescopes around the world have evolved significantly over the past decade, due to the dramatic increase in telescope complexity, available technology and data rate. In order to progress smoothly into the era of the Square Kilometre Array and other global-scale projects, it is important to bring together the lessons learned from existing observatories (such as the importance of automation for handling complex systems) and use these to shape the next generation of observatory operations. The challenges to be faced are spread across the realm of operations, such as rapid scheduling, specification of the telescope system, visualisation of the complex raw data, data quality assessment of multi-dimensional data, "big data" management, automated processing and fast transfer to long-term archives. I will outline challenges faced and addressed in my previous role as Head of Apertif Telescope Operations, where I managed operations during the final commissioning stage of the Apertif upgrade to the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, as well as in my current role in ASKAP Operations with CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science. I will also give examples of challenges encountered and solutions I have helped to develop for other radio telescopes including the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), and the Parkes 64m radio dish. Based on my various experiences in operations of different instruments, I will offer insight into some of the key considerations needed to develop a good model for future SKA operations.