TUBITAK National Observatory astronomers collect data from the stars with applications they developed on the Pardus operating system.
Within the TÜBİTAK National Observatory (TUG) to write and operate the programs they need in their scientific studies, “Open source first!” says GNU/Linux operating system or Unix-based, open source operating systems uses. Starting from the ethics of sharing information openly, believing in the power of open source and knowing that the future is being built with technology, astronomers, apart from platform dependencies, PardusHe particularly prefers
At TUG, each astronomer meets the requirements by writing their own programs according to the project and needs of the telescope they are responsible for. In fact, some programs written by our astronomers are also used by the international astronomy community.
Chief astronomer of TUG Antalya Bakırlıtepe Campus, Chief Researcher Dr. Irek Hamitogluconducts its research in the RTT150 telescope, which is the largest telescope in Turkey. In addition to its national missions, the RTT150 telescope is also working in collaboration with the Spectrum-Röntgen-Gamma (SRG) Space Observatory on an international project. Dr. Hamitoğlu explains the reason why Linux and open source systems are preferred in the whole world of astronomy: “In astrophysics, we may need to write instant programs from time to time in order to process and make sense of the data obtained during observations. When we develop a code in Linux, we can get results very quickly because we can quickly run tests and put them into action. It is also possible for us to exchange information and resources among scientists all over the world.”
All controls of the robotic T60 telescope are done with Pardus
The Robotic T60 Telescope in the TÜBİTAK National Observatory campus in Antalya Bakırlıtepe can be completely controlled remotely. Thus, it is possible to analyze the moving celestial bodies followed by international joint projects. Expert Astronomer responsible for the operations of the T60 telescope Yucel Kilic, explained what they can do with Pardus as follows: “Our system was normally running on Centos 5, but we have converted the entire Pardus system. We showed here that anything can be done in Pardus. Engineers in our R&D team developed a server called "Explode". Some sources in the sky can emit very high energy radiation. In a very short time, there was a need for a software that could direct this telescope to that source. Our team then developed this open source software. In short, we can develop many products in line with our own needs, and on our part, all of these developments take place on Pardus. We develop some systems that do not even exist in the world here, and we present them to the whole world in an international robotics symposium that takes place every 2 years.
The most important thing for me is the Pardus operating system, which stands in the center, but our most important system is the Occultation Portal, which generally serves the world. In addition, a separate server run by Zoneminder, to which the cameras showing the inside of the domes are connected, is running on Pardus. The most important advantage of Pardus is that you know exactly what is going on in the background and you can control everything at any moment. Currently, the Occultation portal has an uptime of over 150 days, and we do everything from continuous image processing in the background to data storage and big data analysis on the Pardus operating system, and we have not had any problems with this on our servers.” made its assessment.
“Open source is a prerequisite for the development of knowledge and scientific ethics”
Expert Astronomer Orhan Erece, working with the T100 telescope in the project he is carrying out. Stating that transparency is essential for the development of scientific knowledge, Erece explained how they use open source even when system requirements oblige: “The mirror diameter of the T100 telescope I work with is 1 meter. The main operating system on which the T100 telescope is used and managed runs on Windows. Windows limits you too much. Linux-based or Mac-based other operating systems can offer a much higher performance image processing or data processing capability, leaving you more free. Although we use Windows in this telescope due to the current situation, we still make our own developments over open source software. I can give the best example of this: We wrote a complete observatory control software for the T-100 telescope. With this control software, we can move the telescope, move the dome, and receive meteorological data. We can add many more different capabilities to this software in line with our needs. This is the best feature of open source software; You have no limits. Working on the software you produce and being able to share it with other scientists who may need it, ensures that your work is transparent and in line with scientific ethics.”