Remote Access

ANNOUNCING... Remote-access telescope capabilities have recently been developed at Badlands Observatory. Research grade instrumentation is now available to scientists, educators, classrooms, students, and the public. Two remote access observing options have recently completed preliminary testing, and are now ready to begin limited operation.

Option # 1

Share-My-Sky

With On-line capabilities by Share-My-Sky:

You can...

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Software Requirements  

None!  The Share-My-Sky remote observing system is strictly browser-operated.  All you need is your computer with a browser that will allow you access to the Internet.  

Note:  It is recommended, but not required, that you have some planetarium-style software for planning your observations, as well as software that will allow you to at least do some mild image processing after you have obtained your images.  Many commercial products, as well as freeware, are available.

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Minimum System Requirements 

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   Option # 2

IAClient

With On-line capabilities by IAClient:

You can...

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Software Requirements

IAClient Suite for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP.

The following software is included with the IAClient Suite:

Price $495.00 ($199.00 special price is available to educational institutions with orders via school purchase order.)

Software Bisque
912 12th Street
Golden, Colorado 80401-1114
(800) 843-7599

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Minimum System Requirements


 Question: Does Badlands Observatory have a preference of one system over the other?

Answer:  Not really…both Share-My-Sky and IAClient have excellent features.

    For example:

  1. Share-My-Sky does not require the purchase of any special software in order to move the telescope and capture images, whereas IAClient does.

  2. IAClient includes planetarium-style software, and image processing software, whereas Share-My-Sky doesn't…you instead choose to purchase some, or use freeware.

  3. IAClient has a very hands-on feel, giving the observer direct, separate control of the telescope and CCD camera.

  4. Share-My-Sky allows you to submit your requested object to observe, and then an automated script drives the telescope and CCD camera through the procedure.  It is not quite the same hands-on feel as IAClient, but is still quite good because all of the telescope and camera procedures are shown to you via a script readout as they occur.

  5. Share-My-Sky is currently more efficient, because shorter downloads to the ftp site allow more observations to be made in the same amount of time.  However, an ftp option is also being considered for IAClient, which would make them equally efficient.

  6. Although both systems are very user-friendly, Share-My-Sky is easier and quicker to learn because more of the process is automated for you.  

Conclusion:  We like both systems…the choice is yours!  Obviously, if you choose IAClient, you would also be able to have access to the Share-My-Sky system because no special software is required.

Question:  How do I get started?

Answer:

  1. With Share-My-Sky, all you need to do is contact Badlands Observatory and get on the schedule…you will then be sent a simple Remote Observing Manual, plus the current monthly Deep-Sky Tour, containing objects recommended for your first observing run.  You could be making observations the very first night.

  2. With IAClient, you will need to obtain the software and get it properly installed on your computer.  You will then contact Badlands Observatory and get on the observing schedule.  You will also be sent a simple Remote Observing Manual, plus the current monthly Deep-Sky Tour, containing objects recommended for your first observing run. 

Question:  Is there a charge for this service?

Answer:

  1. If you represent an educational institution in South Dakota, click here.
  2. If you are a private individual or group, please request commercial hourly rates directly from Badlands Observatory via e-mail badobs@gwtc.net.

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