Science Operations

Communication and Connections


In the C19 Mode of observing, the primary communication channel between the partner observer, telescope operator, and staff astronomer will be over zoom. The zoom channel information will be sent out in the introductory run email by the support astronomer in advance of your run.


It is recommended the lead observer have a VPN account. The VPN account will be necessary for access to the LBTO computers for script editing, quick data checks on mountain computers, etc. Please request one when completing your Observing Request form if you do not have one.

Connecting to the LBT Network

The LBT operates under the paradigm that every Astronomer visiting the observatory will arrive with a laptop computer set up the way they like for email, editing, web surfing, (ahem) games, and such. Use the information below to get your laptops connected to the local network using:

Wireless Internet:

There is a wireless hotspot at the observatory which runs a DHCP server. It is accessible in the control room, the conference room, the labs, and the lounge. In principle, if your laptop is configured to automatically get an IP address through DHCP it should simply work. If not, see below for some additional hints. Not all bedrooms are within range of the wireless routers. Note that the wireless connection is much slower than plugging into the local ethernet network and if you plan to transfer LBT data to your laptop’s internal hard drive you are better off using the wired ethernet.

In the remote observing room, the UofA has a guest wireless network for use but this is not connected to the LBT internal network. For this, users will need to connect via the wired ethernet. Thunderbolt ethernet adapters for mac users are available upon request.

Wired “Astronomer’s Net”:

Ethernet cables for use by the visiting astronomers are normally available in the control room at the observatory and in the remote room, but it is always recommended for observers to bring their own or put in a request should they feel they should need one. Plug the cable into any free ethernet port labeled Astronomer’s Net on the wall behind the workstations as well as your laptop. Again, in principle, if your laptop is configured to automatically get an IP address through DHCP it should simply work.

Sending your scripts

The scripts are sent to the instrument interfaces from the obs machines or rm507 machines. Users are encouraged to transfer scripts to their account on these machines prior to the run.  Each of the computers is set up with the latest version of the OT. If you would like to generate scripts from the OT observations at the time of observing, one can: export the OT program, transfers locally on the obs or rm507 machines, and import the program into the OT for script generation. Files can be copied to the lbto computers by those connected locally to the internal LBT network either through a wired connection down down or via the LBTO wifi or wired on the mountain. Using scp or sftp are ideal for copying observations to the obs or rm507 machines.


In all cases below, if your laptop ends up with an IP address in the range NNN.NNN.NNN.NNN-NNN then you have successfully connected to the LBT local area network. For Mac Users….
Make sure that AirPort is turned on if using the wireless connection.
For wired or wireless connections:
Open System Preferences -> Network -> Network Status
Select Built-in Ethernet or AirPort depending on which you want to use
Click the Configure button.
Click the TCP/IP button and make sure that ‘Configure IPv4’ is set to using DHCP
Click on Renew DHCP Lease

Troubleshooting for Linux and Windows users Under Construction.