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The US Geological Survey operates an automated observatory dedicated to the radiometry of the Moon with the objective of developing a multispectral, spatially resolved photometric model of the Moon to be used in the calibration of Earth-orbiting spacecraft. Interference filters are used with two imaging instruments to observe the Moon in 32 passbands from 350-2500 nm. Three computers control the telescope mount and instruments with a fourth computer acting as a master system to control all observation activities. Real-time control software has been written to operate the instrumentation and to automate the observing process. The observing software algorithms use information including the positions of objects in the sky, the phase of the Moon, and the times of evening and morning twilight to decide how to observe program objects. The observatory has been operating in a routine mode since late 1995 and is expected to continue through at least 2002 without significant modifications.
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Real-time control of the robotic lunar observatory telescope
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific