NRT staff visit La Palma

In September, two members of Liverpool's NRT team boarded a flight to La Palma to meet with colleagues from IAC on the mountain. This was Joao and Adam's first visit to the Liverpool Telescope site; Adam Garner, NRT Automation and Control Engineer, said 'It was my first time visiting an optical telescope site and it was interesting to see the Liverpool Telescope and the Carlsberg Meridian Telescope. It made me appreciate the scale and challenges of modern telescope construction.'

Six people stand in front of the Liverpool Telescope, smiling in the sunshine.
The NRT software and engineering team at the LT site. From left to right: Adam, Joao, Valdivia, Javier, Miguel and Josué.

The NRT team performed the installation of a remotely accessible computer on the Carlsberg Meridian Telescope site, where NRT will be built. This is a first step in order to have site data and network connectivity, as the installation of a weather station with sky-monitoring sensors will follow later this year.

In the Carlsberg Meridian Telescope Office. One person working on a computer and two people looking on, with another person working on the other side of the table.
Valdivia, Josué, Joao and Javier working at the Carlsberg Meridian Telescope site.

The team also discussed and analysed different options for installing some servers at the Liverpool Telescope site to start the development of the network and server architecture for NRT. The team will carry out early testing of the software development and deployment process remotely using testing infrastructure both at LJMU and IAC headquarters, and a deployment infrastructure at the observatory. They will start to address the main software challenges of the project which relate to network access and configuration, security and reliability of the processes.

During their time there, Joao and Adam were also able to help with a planned maintenance trip for the Liverpool Telescope, in which they could understand first hand the security procedures and regular maintenance tasks that an automated telescope must undergo.