Linux Software for Astronomical Observatory Dome Control

XmDome provides a convenient graphical user interface for local or remote operation of an astronomical telescope dome. While specific to the hardware we use for the Shared Skies programs at Moore and Mt. Kent Observatories, XmDome may be readily adapted to other hardware. It includes code to calculate the requisite dome azimuth given the celestial coordinates of the telescope, for German equatorial, fork equatorial, and altazimuth telescope mounts. Support for the Phidgets RFID tag reader is included, which permits simple retrofitting of absolute dome rotation encoding with the addition of RFID tags on the dome itself. The current version supports a hardwired dual shutter for the Sirius dome. An RF-coupled autonomous shutter controller is under development that will allow safe operation under uncertain weather conditions.

Last update: July 22, 2012
kielkopf at louisville dot edu