Much background work has been done on integrating the TCS more in to the overall observing system. The main issues are the communication between the TCS and the rest of the observing system, and the limited capacity of the TCS system itself. As part of this, modifications are continuing to be made to the TCS to expand the level of communication and to export certain tasks to other, more powerful computers. Specific objectives are, e.g., to make switching between instruments (like ALFOSC and FIES) during the night simple, and allow for a easier handling of TCS logs. The idea is to export this to the general observing system computers.
It has also been decided to change the TCS interface (currently on a VT100 compatible console) with software emulators running on a computer sporting a bigger screen. This will allow to integrate both the TCS user interface and error console on one screen, while also providing more space to present the information better.
Standard catalogues are now read in to the TCS at boot time and resides as a built in service in case one wants to preset to a given standard star. A general web-page was set-up with information on the different catalogues:
Thomas Augusteijn 2009-05-14