Table of contents
About this book
We have arrived at the third volume of this useful series on Organiza tions and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). It contains seventeen articles on a wide range of topics, from virtual observatories, astronomy organizations in various communities (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, South Africa), and the role of ground stations in space observatories, to quality assurance in UK higher education. In this foreword, I shall give some views on ideas expressed in this volume, in particular from my personal experience when I was project officer for the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Let me first remind readers that present and future astronomy is in creasingly dependent on high-level management. Not everybody knows that the scheduling of the Hubble Space Telescope is performed by a neural network software called SPIKE, described in the stimulating workshop New Observing Modes for the Next Centuryl, partly reported in OSA Volume II by 1. Robson. New observing facilities, in space or on the ground, are so complex that they need highly qualified engineers and rigorous management procedures. Each observing hour on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) fa cility is worth about EUR 7,000, including the amortization of the capital expenses over 30 years. This does not leave much room for amateurism, neither in the time allocation procedures, nor in the daily telescope control.
Evaluation Nation Observatories astronomy astrophysics education environment sociology space science