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Paper: STARS: Telescope and Space Mission Scheduling Towards a Multi-Observatory Framework
Volume: 527, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIX
Page: 313
Authors: Colomé, J.; Nakhjiri, N.; García–Piquer, Á.; Morales, J. C.; Vilardell, F.
Abstract: Efficient scheduling of astronomical targets is a challenge with an increasing level of complexity. In general, any kind of astronomical surveys requires the execution of a huge number of observations fulfilling several constraints. The fulfillment and optimization of these constraints is a key factor for obtaining an efficient schedule with an adequate exploitation of the resources and with a high scientific return. We present the software framework STARS (Scheduling Telescopes as Autonomous Robotic Systems) that computes optimal schedules for a variety of space- and ground-based infrastructures and scientific exploitation plans. STARS is a software framework that provides methods, tools and libraries for the definition of surveys, observatories, the usage of astronomical calculations and the application of schedulers based on AI algorithms. It includes an abstraction of the scheduling problem and different algorithms (evolutionary algorithms, heuristics) that can be used at a range of facilities and for multi-observatory coordination. STARS is successfully applied in several ground and space-based observatories. It is used to operate the CARMENES instrument and the TJO robotic telescope, and to prototype the mission planning tool for the ARIEL M4-ESA mission, and for large ground-based installations such as CTA. Finally, STARS is also being extended to cover multi-observatory coordinated scheduling purposes, in order to promote multi-messenger science. The coordination of large observatories in the northern and southern hemispheres is used as test case to evaluate the performance of such an innovative scheduling solution.
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