Observatory Sciences has an agreement with Tpoint Consulting (owned and run by Patrick Wallace) which enables it to incorporate state-of-the-art Tpoint software into telescope control systems supplied by OSL.
The Tpoint software suite is based upon the interactive software tool TPOINT, which uses observed star positions to form a pointing model for the telescope or antenna concerned. With the TPOINT model embedded in the control system, target acquisition is swift and assured, and long-term tracking accuracy enhanced. The improvements come about through the continuous correction of mechanical errors such as misalignments and flexures, plus gear errors and encoder imperfections. There is also provision for real-time metrology corrections, for example from levels and temperature sensors.
The TPOINT tool has been widely adopted by both professional and amateur astronomers on telescopes of many different designs, including equatorial and altazimuth mounts and optical, IR and radio telescopes.
To aid the development of advanced telescope control systems, a pointing kernel software library called TCSpk is provided. This is aimed at developers of telescope or antenna control systems for professional astronomy and space applications. It uses extremely accurate and sophisticated algorithms for controlling pointing and tracking, including provision for autoguiders, tip-tilt optics and instrument rotators. TCSpk is used by scientific observatories worldwide, including the 10m Gran Telescopio Canarias, the 4.1m SOAR telescope, the 2x8m Large Binocular Telescope and the ESA 35m deep space antenna near Perth, Western Australia.
A pioneer in computerised telescope control, Patrick Wallace is recognised as the world's leading expert on precision telescope positioning, and received the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2004 for his "outstanding contributions to the development of precise, accurate, dependable and rigorous telescope pointing software".