The Astronomer’s Telegram is about encouraging more, and better, observations of astrophysical transients. With that in mind, we’ve introduced ATELstream.
ATELstream is a socket-level XML-object distribution server. It permits world-wide, confirmed distribution in less than 1 second.
The design principles of ATELstream are:
- Speed. Distributed XML objects should be received worldwide as quickly as possible, with a target receipt time of 1 second after the XML object is received from the submitter by the main node.
- Instantaneous and anonymous access to receive the stream. Users need not identify themselves in advance to receive the stream. Simply start-up a server which connects to the main node, and you will begin to receive the stream. You may download a perl-based server here and be receiving the stream in 2 minutes, or write one based on the described ATELstream protocol.
ATELstream is an active server operating with a published protocol. Clients submit an XML object. The main node (at astronomerstelegram.org) redistributes the XML object to all connected servers.
This permits hard-coding of distributing data via ATELstream into telescope operations — the instant an automated analysis discovers an anomaly, you it may connect to ATELstream, authenticate, and submit it. This also permits hard-coding of telescope response to the ATELstream — a telescope daemon can listen to the stream for a certain type of XML object, and when it is received, respond to it autonomously.