Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite you to a meeting to discuss the future development of software used to operate small to medium size, fully autonomous observatories (usually with D < 2m). The major focus of the workshop is image processing and automated discovery. The proposed dates are Monday 18th August to Wednesday 20th August, 2008. The workshop will be hosted by University College Dublin, Ireland. Participants (or their funding institutions) are expected to cover their travel costs and on-site accommodation (recommended is 30 euro/night at UCD village, If there is sufficient interest, we might consider publishing proceedings of the workshop.

The workshop shall be center on open source packages for full control of fully autonomous observatories (*). The organisers belong to the RTS2 community. RTS2 is currently working on ~ 7 sites on three continents, providing, so far, several TBs of image data. Due to limited man-power, only the most interesting data are currently processed and published. Many of the images are in archives and await new software to enable searches for variable sources and other interesting celestial phenomena. As we hope we are not alone with this problem, we would like to discuss possible solutions to it. If there will be enough will, we would like to start collaborative efforts on providing solutions as open-source software. The topics might include proposals for changes to RTS2 to enable faster and easier image retrieval, calibration and processing for particular programmes.

We are open to discussion about any related topic, ranging from (but not limited to) autonomous observatory development and improvements; use of new, high sensitivity detectors (EMCCD,..); development of machine learning tools for automated discovery, especially relating to transients, to the use of acquired data in publications. The discussion shall be center on autonomous observatories, but not necessarily RTS2-based setups.

If you would like to participate in the workshop, please contact me at to register your interest right away and to get further information.

We are looking forward to see you.

Petr Kubanek
IAA CSIC, Granada & GACE, Valencia - Spain
+34 661 107 995
+34 958 230 606
+420 737 500 268
Skype: pkubanek

(*) by fully autonomous observatory we mean a site without any human operator for routine observations and an astronomer who will look for interesting events. On such sites computers and software are responsible for full control of the observatory, including scheduling, failure recovery, image processing and discovery reporting. Due to the major differences between remote telescopes, where operators remotely control observations and fully autonomous facilities, the workshop will focus primarily on autonomous observatories.