Abstract by Caleb Gaunt
Physics and Astronomy
J. Ward Moody
Control System for the ROVOR observatory
BYU’s Remote Observatory for Variable Object Research (ROVOR) in Delta, UT currently runs on TheSkyX software and other scripts, a complicated system that can only be accessed by one person at a time. We’re developing a new observatory control system that uses a web-based approach to provide greater access and easier extensibility. To complete a proof of concept, I have programmed a controller for a weather monitor and our custom Lifferth dome using Node.js. I engaged in a test-first development approach by writing code for automated unit tests that would verify the functionality of the controllers and developed the code for controllers until they functioned properly. To validate the system, I found an ASCOM-made Alpaca equipment simulator and connected it the controllers, which I registered with the rest of the existing system and modified the code to where the system integrated with the simulator as expected. The system will be further developed by obtaining Alpaca-compatible equipment to connect the system to, rewriting the script that controls the Lifferth dome in Node.js, and configuring the whole thing to run on Raspberry Pis onsite in Delta.