Excellence in Engineering

LCO’s global network of telescopes truly is a remarkable engineering system. At seven observatory sites around the globe, we operate 23 telescopes as a single instrument. Twenty of the telescopes, and all of the science instruments, were custom-built by LCO. The network is fully robotic and operates around the clock. LCO’s internet-based scheduler takes requests for observations from scientists and education observers, analyzes everything from competing requests and conditions at each telescope site, directs individual telescopes to make the desired observations, and compiles the results. Observers can make requests for observations at any time as the scheduler updates the entire network plan about every 5 minutes. This all happens with a state-of-the-art level of speed and precision.

The LCO network will soon expand with the addition of two one-meter class telescopes at Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. These telescopes will double our one-meter imaging capacity in the northern hemisphere. The photo gallery below shows the installation of the infrastructure at our Teide, Canary Islands node in late 2019. The additional telescopes will be installed in 2021.