Frederic Hessman is the project leader/scientist of the MONET project—a network of two 1.2m telescopes operated by the Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, the McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas at Austin and the South African Astronomical Observatory. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin, Tex, USA, working on time-resolved spectroscopy of accretion disks in cataclysmic variables and accretion disk theory. As a Research Fellow at the MPIA in Heidelberg, his work included studies of accretion phenomena in young stars. After becoming a staff astronomer at the University of Goettingen, the problems of coordinating networked manual observations generated his interest in robotic telescopes. He is a coauthor of the VOEvent protocol for publishing astronomical events within the virtual observatory and an author of the Remote Telescope Markup Language used by the Heterogeneous Telescope Network Consortium. When not working on a variety of scientific projects from microlensing to premain sequence rotation, he programs microcontrollers used by MONET and developes internet-based telescope control and management systems. After many years of experience with the University of Berkeley's Hands-On Universe (TM) curriculum, he is creating a high-school/undergraduate astronomy curriculum and software capable of utilizing remotely controlled and robotic telescopes.
Biography Updated on 16 October 2009