Skip to content

AEON Technical Requirements

The goal of AEON is to make it easy for facilities to join with the maximum possible degree of flexibility. This page outlines the technical requirements for any participating facility. Facilities interested in becoming partners are encouraged to reach out to the AEON representatives (contact details are available here) to discuss how these requirements can be met in their case.


Observatories participating in the AEON network shall make at least some of their time available in a queue-scheduled mode where the observatory is responsible for carrying out observation requests submitted by users. This time shall be distributed at intervals throughout a given semester in order to support time series monitoring observations. The observatory may support requests for rapid response or Target of Opportunity observations that may override previously scheduled observations at short (~minutes) notice. The observatory is free to optimize the sequence of submitted observations conducted at its facility on a nightly basis as it feels is most appropriate. Observatories may also contact the Las Cumbres Observatory if they are interested in using the LCO scheduling system to optimize their nightly observing sequence when the participating facility is in AEON-mode.

Calibration observations may be scheduled by direct request from the users or may be obtained as part of an observatory's regular functions.

Observation requests

Observatories shall make it possible for users with active time allocations to submit requests for observations that will be executed at the participating facility. The observations may be carried out manually (by observatory staff) or robotically.

Observation requests shall include sufficient information to enable all necessary calibration data to be obtained for the data to be properly reduced.

Online user interface

The observatory shall provide a secure, online webservice where users can fully describe the observations they require through a browser-based form and submit those requests.

Programmable user interface

The observatory shall provide a secure Application Programmable Interface where users can fully describe the observations they require and submit those requests. Ideally, this interface will use the AEON request language. The AEON Partners will work with facilities joining AEON to ensure that their instruments can be fully supported within this language, and extend it where necessary. Alternatively, observatories can develop their own plugin for the TOM Toolkit which enables users to submit programmatic requests.

Data distribution

The observatory shall provide the users with timely access to all appropriate data products pertaining to their observations, and shall respect any pre-agreed proprietary period. Typically, the data products should be made available to the user within 24hrs of observations being made. Ideally, users should be able to access their data programmatically.

Calibration Data and Data processing

Observatories are encouraged but not required to provide reduced data products. If no reduced data products are generated, then the observatory shall provide access to all appropriate raw and calibration data such that the data can be processed by the user in a timely way. Typically, the data products should be made available to the user within 24hrs of observations being made.


The observatory shall maintain, and make publicly available, complete and accurate documentation of its instrument capabilities and overheads, necessary calibrations, scheduling, observation request specifications and interfaces as well as describing its data products and how users should access them.