13. Support of remote Operations of CESAR Solar and Night-Sky Telescopes.


ESA supervisor: Sandra Benitez
Collaborator(s): Juan Angel Vaquerizo, Maria Herranz

Site: ESAC

CesaR (Cooperation through Education in Science and Astronomy Research) is a joint educational programme developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) and the public company ISDEFE. It is based at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain. Its main goal is to provide students and teachers from European schools with hands-on educational materials and resources about Astrophysics and Space Sciences, to be carried out in the classroom, as well as easy access to ESA´s data archive and to optical and radio telescopes. During 2023, the CESAR Solar Observatory has been put in remote operation mode, allowing daily images of the Sun to be obtained in a semi-automatic way and stored in our public data base, so it can be easily shared with schools participating of the CESAR Space Science Experiences. The next step for the Solar Observatory is to improve the correct and automated process of the data, developing a pipeline for this purpose in Python. 

On the other hand, also in 2023, a detail status check of the night sky observatories was performed and basic maintenance improvements are being undertaken. In 2024, we will be ready for putting them into remote operation and start using them with selected teachers and their classrooms. For this purpose, specific observational case will need to be designed, adjusted to the capabilities of the telescope and the different educational level. 

The main tasks for this internship will be to work on:

  1. Development of a pipeline for image-processing of the solar telescope as well as,
  2. Remotization of the night telescopes and creation of observational cases.

Project duration: 6 months.

Desirable expertise or programming language:

  • Good knowledge of physics and mathematics, and understanding  of astronomical concepts.
  • Practical experience in Python programming and UNIX environments.
  • Experience with image processing.
  • Knowledge of programs for astronomical equipment control (dome, mount, cameras...) in particular ASCOM, Talon, Indi... 
  • Knowledge in astronomical equipment for ground-based observatories.
  • Practical experience in amateur observing would be an asset.
  • Capable of working in international teams.
  • Fluent  in English (reading and writing).
  • Capable of  meeting milestones within schedules.


To apply for this project please fill in an online application form through the following link.