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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2010, Article ID 980182, 9 pages
Research Article

Three Years of Experience with the STELLA Robotic Observatory

Division of Telescope Control & Robotics, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany

Received 30 June 2009; Revised 1 November 2009; Accepted 18 January 2010

Academic Editor: Joshua S. Bloom

Copyright © 2010 Thomas Granzer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Since May 2006, the two STELLA robotic telescopes at the Izaña observatory in Tenerife, Spain, delivered an almost uninterrupted stream of scientific data. To achieve such a high level of autonomous operation, the replacement of all troubleshooting skills of a regular observer in software was required. Care must be taken on error handling issues and on robustness of the algorithms used. In the current paper, we summarize the approaches we followed in the STELLA observatory.