The eScience Telescopes for Astronomical Research (eSTAR) Project is a programme to build a prototype robotic telescope network

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eSTAR Software The eScience Telescopes for Astronomical Research (eSTAR) Project is a programme to build a prototype robotic telescope network, to test computing infrastructure and software which could be used for larger scale projects. The prototype will include telescopes which carry out observing requests sent across the internet and a system which performs rapid reduction of the data. Intelligent agents will then examine the results and, if required, request follow-up observations.

eSTAR is a joint project between the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University, the Astrophysics Rearch Group of the School of Physics at the University of Exeter and the Department of Physics at the University of Liverpool. It is funded as a demonstrator project through the UK's joint Department of Trade and Industry and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's e-science core programme.

Work is ongoing on the software front, some of the middleware written by the project that we feel will be generally useful will be distributed to the community under the GNU General Public License (GPL).


The Astro::ADS module is an object-orientated Perl interface to the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) abstract service. The ADS is a NASA-funded project whose main resource is an Abstract Service, which includes four sets of abstracts: astronomy and astrophysics, instrumentation, physics and geophysics, and Los Alamos preprint server.

As of November 2001, ADS discontinued support of its own adswww Perl4 based library, in favour of the Astro::ADS module. It is therefore now the official way to access ADS via the Perl language.


The Astro::SIMBAD module is an object-orientated Perl interface to the SIMBAD astronomical database. SIMBAD provides basic data, cross-identifications and bibliography for astronomical objects outside the solar system.


The Astro::DSS module is an object-orientated Perl interface to the first and second Digital Sky Surveys at the ESO-ECF online archive. While the first sky survey is 100% complete, the second survey covers 98% of the sky in Red, 45% of the sky in Blue and 27% of the sky in the Infra-red.


The Astro::Corlate module is an pseudo-object orientated interface to the Fortran 95 Corlate package. A F95 compiler is needed to compile the module.

Corlate compares two CLUSTER format catalogue files, one typically being the results of a new observation, and the other a reference catalogue such as the USNO-A2. It returns an array of files with information on any variable objects found during the cross-corelation of the two catalogues. CLUSTER format files can be handled using the Astro::Catalog.


A generic catalog object, along with wrappers to allow you to connect to the online Guide Star Catalogue (GSC) and the USNO-A2 catalogue provided by ESO/ST-ECF. The module also allows read/write access to ARK CLUSTER files.


A skeleton module demonstrating how we went about wrapping the Globus API in Perl. Requires that Globus is installed.


The Globus Perl CoG module Grid::Info::Search, customised for use with the eSTAR project. Requires that Globus is installed.


A module which parses Robotic Telescope Markup Language (RTML) which is the communication protocol used between the agent and the node.

Intelligent Agent

The current release includes only the testbed clients for the intelligent agent (IA). The Field Correlation Client (FCC) is the current testbed for the low level and middleware Perl classes and wrappers underpinning the intelligent agent (IA) software.