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8. Other Telescope Control Systems

These documents provide an insight into the specification and implementation of control systems at other telescopes.


The GBT is the 100-metre Greenbank Telescope, now in operation. The HartRAO NCCS is very similar in concept to the GBT system. Specific docs of high interest are listed after the GBT home and documentation pages. The programming language is C++. The observer interface uses Glish (a C-like interpreter), while the operator interface uses Tk/Tcl.

GBT home page, at

GBT documentation, at

Examples of the documentation:

Observer Monitor and Control Requirements for the GBT, from

a very brief introduction to GBT observing at rfisher/Glish/gbt_obs_intro.html

GBT Glish observer interface with many examples, at rfisher/Glish/gbt_gui_proto.html

GBT observing tables = input or command files, at rfisher/Glish/shorthand.html

Writing GBT observing procedures in Glish, at rfisher/Glish/glish_procs.html

Advanced GBT procedure writing in Glish, at rfisher/Glish/gbt_procedures.html

Object-Oriented Experiences with GBT Monitor and Control, at

GBT software and notes at Rick Fisher's home page, at rfisher/. Additional links from here include:

GBT software implementation documentation, at

GBT hardware implementation documentation, at

GBT memos, from

8.2 OVRO

The Owens Valley Radio Observatory has developed a new user interface viewable over the internet for its millimeterwave array, using Java clients and a C++ server, at

8.3 HET

The format for input files for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is rather similar to that proposed for the NCCS:

HET scheduler local copy from


The ATNF are developing the "Australia Telescope Observatory Management System (ATOMS)", at ATOMS home page at" but much of it seems to have little of interest to us. The system is being implemented in Java.

ATOMS java docs on coordinates at is one of the more interesting items. SLALIB is their benchmark in this case.

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