We are planning to make an application that given target coordinates and a finding chart will generate a sequencer script that is uploaded to the appropriate script directory and does the telescope presetting and displays the finding chart.
This application will be made available to outside users as a web form which should have the following entries/options: imaging or spectroscopy (for the later case it should be defined if horizontal or vertical slits will be used), target name, coordinates, epoch, required position angle (or, only for spectroscopy, if the parallactic angle should be used). All this defines to what values `enter-object' and `field-r', or `i-p-a', should be set and if `Preset to selected' or `Preset to par ang' should be used. When the telescope is moving the finding chart can be displayed. It is then up to the observer to decide how to proceed, e.g., just taking an image to view the field for comparison, or (for ALFOSC) use `alfosc.acquisition'.
In principle this facility should be available for all instruments, but as a first step a version for ALFOSC will be made. As this includes all possible parameters, making similar versions for all instruments should be simple.
Thomas Augusteijn 2009-05-14