LT Operations Extension April - September 2014

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool John Moores University
Department Name: Astrophysics Research Institute


In order to maintain the operations of the Liverpool Telescope in the period 1st April 2014 - 30st September 2014 while a longer term funding decision is made, and to allow the retention of staff during that period, a contribution to the staffing costs of the telescope is requested from STFC as agreed by Colin Vincent.

Planned Impact

ARI has a long tradition of strong industrial and PUS engagement. We will continue our policy of engagement with engineering firms who will be commissioned to manufacture the structure of the instrument. In the past this has allowed firms working with us to upgrade their skills and machinery to deliver the high precision needed for astronomical instrumentation, allowing them to received a grants and R&D tax credits in order to upgrade their precision machining capability and safeguarding a number of jobs at the time. In addition such firms have been able to use their work on astronomical instrumentation to enhance their reputation with other customers and has assisted them in gaining access to new markets (for example contracts with ING and CERN). In addition the LT will remain the core of the National Schools Observatory, the UK's most significant schools outreach activity.


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Description The National Schools' Observatory (NSO) is a major educational website, established by Liverpool John Moores University, to allow schools to make their own observations alongside professional astronomers with the world's largest fully-robotic telescope - the Liverpool Telescope. The NSO also provides educational resources to help with the challenging task of teaching science, technology and mathematics in the classroom environment. It has long been known that astronomy creates a sense of excitement and wonder in pupils of all ages. The NSO taps into that interest to further the pupil's knowledge of science and mathematics, while at the same time improve computer literacy and communications skills, strengthen critical thinking and provide experience the real-world application of science and technology. Using astronomical telescopes is the most important feature of this website and schools registered with the Schools' Observatory have the opportunity to make their observations using the LT. Over the past 10 years, over 100,000 observations have been taken for schools. Once the observing request has been completed, pupils are able to download the telescope data and use special Image Processing software (LTImage) to analyse the resulting images.
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

Description Collaboration with University of Oxford 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific Expertise, Access to telescope time
Collaborator Contribution Scientific Expertise, Financial Contribution
Impact Collaboration on followup of LOFAR radio transients starting in early 2014.
Start Year 2014
Description ESA Gaia Support 
Organisation European Space Agency
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Telescope time, observation management and data reduction in support of the tracking of the Gaia satellite via optical means.
Collaborator Contribution Target Position Information, Data Analysis
Impact Ongoing project - wast initially test programme prior to satellite launch in September 2013, after became ongoing commercial contract with ESA renewed annually
Start Year 2011
Description FRODOSpec 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Funding and effort to develop a dual beam spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope using optical fibre and VPH technology. Ongoing joint exploitation.
Collaborator Contribution Funding contribution and scientific input to the spectrograph design. Ongoing joint exploitation.
Impact The FRODOSpec instrument itself. Scientific publications.
Description Joint GRB Programme 
Organisation University of Ljubljana
Department Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Country Slovenia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Telescope time, data analysis, software development, scientific expertise
Collaborator Contribution Funding, scientific expertise.
Impact 17 joint scientific publications.
Start Year 2010
Description RISE 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Department School of Mathematics and Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of a new fast-timing camera for the Liverpool Telescope, integration and operation. Joint scientific exploitation.
Collaborator Contribution Funding of hardware. Software development. Joint scientific Exploitation.
Impact The RISE instrument. 17 scientific publications.
Start Year 2007
Title Telescope Robotic Control Software 
Description Robotic Control Software for telescopes 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Used for robotic control of Liverpool and Faulkes Telescopes 
Description National Schools Observatory 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Over 100,000 Liverpool Telescope observations delivered into over 2,500 schools in the UK, with supporting curricular material etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016