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How to schedule an iTelescope for multiple objects?
#6
Hello Phil,

In many ways scheduling for iTelescope is simpler than for a private system because so much, like calibrations, is done for you. But in one way it is more complex: because we are sharing the system, we need to iterate a bit, starting with a target object and figuring out when it is best to observe it on a specific night, checking to see if that time is available on the telescope, and if so, making a reservation. Once the reservation is made, then we constrain the Scheduler to the time period matching our reservation.

Here are some tips regarding scheduling for iTelescope:

1. Once a reservation is made, set the time period on the Scheduler to match the reservation. You can do this by dragging the vertical lines on the Nightbar or by entering the start and end times directly in the "From" and "to" fields. Once the time period set, use the Auto Schedule button to fill it out.

2. If there is a gap in the schedule, set the time period to be the start and end times of gap. Then schedule for the gap. This will keep the Scheduler from filling another time slot.

3. For iTelescope I often prefer to manually schedule. To do this, I select one project at a time and schedule it by right-clicking on it and selecting Schedule Project (or just double-clicking on it). This allows me some control over the order, while at the same time taking advantage of the Scheduler to make smart choices for this like filter order and sub exposure times. When doing this it is important to use the information available to help decide which project to schedule when. The graphic below the Nightbar is very useful for this.

4. Sometimes I discover that I want to change the minimum exposure quality (Min. Q) on the fly. You don't need to open the imaging project to do this. You cna right-click in the Min. Q. column to change the value quickly.

5. When I know that the iTelescope has a lot of open time available, sometimes I set only the start time and leave the end time all the way to the right. Then I schedule each object one at a time, building toward later in the night. When I am happy with it, I note the time that my schedule ends and use that to make my reservation.

6. If you are willing to work weeks or even months ahead of time, the iTelescope schedule is often uncluttered or even empty.

7. Sometimes I "poach" observing time by scheduling in real time. I watch what is going on live. Sometimes people don't show up for their reservation. Other times an error occurs. The time then becomes available. People also often schedule too much time for the project, leaving the telescope idle when their plan finishes. When I see this sort of thing happening, I set the Scheduler to start at the current time (or when I think time will become available), quickly generate a plan, upload it, and when the iTelescope becomes available I start my plan.

There was a night a few months ago when a new comet discovery was made and I wanted to get an observation from Australia just before dawn. But all of the iTelescopes were in use. So I created an imaging project for every iTelescope that was appropriate for astrometry, uploaded them, and waited. The moment one because available I jumped in and started the plan.

Clear skies,
Greg
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RE: How to schedule an iTelescope for multiple objects - by theskyhound - 2019-01-11, 04:19 PM

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