What is GLORIA?
GLORIA stands for “GLObal Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array”. GLORIA will be the first free and open- access network of robotic telescopes in the world. It will be a Web 2.0 environment where users can do research in astronomy by observing with robotic telescopes, and/or by analysing data that other users have acquired with GLORIA, or from other free access databases, like the European Virtual Observatory (http://www.euro-vo.org).
The community is the most important part of GLORIA. If you are here it means you have an Internet connection and a web browser. Excellent! This means you can become a GLORIA user and be able to observe, and to perform experiments. In fact GLORIA is open to everybody with an interest in astronomy, not only to professional astronomers.
What services will GLORIA offer?
Many Internet communities have already formed to speed-up scientific research, to collaborate in documenting something, or for social projects. Research in astronomy can benefit from attracting many eyes to the sky – to detect something in the sky requires looking in the right place at the right time. Our robotic telescopes can search the sky, but the vast quantities of data they produce are far greater than astronomers have time to analyze. GLORIA will provide a way of putting thousands of eyes and minds on an astronomy problem. GLORIA is intended to be a Web 2.0 structure, with the possibility of doing real experiments. The community will not only generate content, as in most Web 2.0, but will control telescopes around the world, both directly and via scheduled observations. The community will take decisions for the network and that will give “intelligence” to GLORIA, while the drudge work (such as drawing up telescope schedules that satisfy various constraints) will be done by algorithms that will be developed for the purpose.
How will GLORIA meet its challenges?
GLORIA project will define free standards, protocols and methodology for:
- Controlling Robotic Telescopes and all related instrumentation i.e. cameras, filter-wheels, domes, etc.
- Giving Web access to the Network: access to an arbitrary number of robotic telescopes via a web portal.
- Conducting On-line experiments: It will be possible to design specific web environments for controlling telescopes for research on a specific scientific issue.
- Conducting Off-line experiments: It will be possible to design specific web environments for analyzing astronomical meta-data produced by GLORIA or other databases.