remote operation

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remote operation

The operation of a telescope and its associated instruments by off-site astronomers possibly thousands of kilometers away. Signals are passed over one or more communication links carrying voice, video, and digital information. Remote operation was a natural development from an earlier trend that involved transferring the operation of a telescope system from the actual physical position of the telescope to an on-site control room, which itself required the development of automated equipment and communication links (see automation).

Remote operation by astronomers of a telescope-instrument-detector system in space was demonstrated in 1978 using the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite. It has since led on to such successful projects as the Hubble Space Telescope. Remote operation of a ground-based telescope was first achieved in 1982 when the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii was remotely operated from the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh.

Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
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