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New Python module for submitting observations via RTML 15 Apr 2020
Example Python code
The new ltrtml Python module allows users to create and submit RTML observing requests to the Liverpool Telescope in a purely pythonic way.

A new general purpose Python module for submitting observations to The Liverpool Telescope has been developed by Astrophysics Research Institute PhD student Kyle Medler.

With this module, users can now submit observations to the telescope from automated Python scripts. This is an alternative to using the fully featured PhaseII user interface, and is suitable for the most common observation modes. See the RTML page for more information on available instruments, features and how to apply for RTML access.

This module was created when Kyle Medler and Supervisor Professor Paolo Mazzali needed to automatically schedule transient follow-up observations from their pipeline. A couple of existing RTML methods to do this were investigated, but creating the new module enabled a simpler and more robust implementation without any Java dependecies or Python system calls.

Kyle was guided by Dr Doug Arnold, DevOps engineer for the Liverpool Telescope, in a short project to expand Kyle's software development skills with new concepts, whilst at the same time producing a usable library for LT users. Of the project Kyle said, "Being able to get into low level details of the Liverpool Telescope has been a great opportunity. I've developed my skills in Python language structure and features whilst creating this module and it's satisfying that it will be useful to astronomers using the Liverpool Telescope."

To obtain the module, along with instructions and example code, please see the ltrtml github repository.