Invited talk (I7.1) Josep Colomé (Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC) and CSIC)Theme: Telescope operations and scheduling: from classical to autonomous
STARS: Telescope and space mission scheduling towards a multi-observatory frameworkEfficient scheduling of astronomical targets is a challenge with an increasing level of complexity. In general, any kind of astronomical surveys requires the execution of a huge number of observations fulfilling several constraints. The fulfillment and optimization of these constraints is a key factor for obtaining an efficient schedule with an adequate exploitation of the resources and with a high scientific return.
We present the software framework STARS (Scheduling Telescopes as Autonomous Robotic Systems) that computes optimal schedules for a variety of space- and ground-based infrastructures and scientific exploitation plans. STARS is a software framework that provides methods, tools and libraries for the definition of surveys, observatories, the usage of astronomical calculations and the application of schedulers based on AI algorithms.
STARS is successfully applied in several ground and space-based observatories. It is used to operate the CARMENES instrument (carmenes.caha.es) and the TJO robotic telescope (oadm.ieec.cat). and to prototype the mission planning tool for the ARIEL M4-ESA mission, and for large ground-based installations such as CTA (cta-observatory.org). Finally, STARS is also being extended to cover multi-observatory coordinated scheduling purposes, in order to promote multi-messenger science. The coordination of large observatories in the northern and southern hemispheres is used as test case to evaluate the performance of such an innovative scheduling solution. In this sense, simultaneous observations or observations with a minimal time gap between them are promoted resulting in a challenging and complex optimization problem that will open a new era for the optimal operation of large astrophysical infrastructures.