Installing and Running Telescopes on Skynet for Research and Instruction
We have two telescopes on the Skynet system at our Dark Sky Observatory (DSO), with hopes to put on two more existing telescopes. The experience–basically good–of putting telescopes on Skynet for use by faculty, students, and researchers worldwide is described, as well as some of the difficulties of installation and maintenance, and beneficial experiences running them. Our first telescope, a 14-inch Celestron OTA on a Software Bisque Paramount ME German equatorial mount, was a relatively easy installation given its close match to the original Skynet PROMPT telescopes’ configuration. The second installation, a 17-inch PlaneWave OTA on a Mathis fork mount, has proven more challenging. We would like to put our 32-inch at DSO, as well as the campus 16-inch, on Skynet but the integral open-loop dome control in the DFM Engineering Telescope Control System presents some problems that are discussed.