IRTF Computer and Remote
Observing Information

Observers at the IRTF have the option of working remotely from Hale Pohaku, Hilo, Manoa, or from their own office. Remote observing is supported for all IRTF facility instruments. If you wish to observe from your home institution, you MUST comply with requirements for audio - visual conferencing (with the summit) and instrument operation provided on this page.

New users of IRTF facility instruments should plan to observe from the summit for their first run to work directly with their support astronomer and become familiar with the instrument operation. First-time users who have significant experience with similar instruments at other telescopes may request to waive this requirement of observing from the summit - such requests will be judged on an individual basis. Observers already familiar with the instrument and who want to observe remotely from their home institution are required to contact Miranda Hawarden-Ogata ( or their support astronomer to arrange a test of the audio - visual conferencing link and user interface at least one month prior to their observing run. The Communication Options for Observers lists the remote desktop, video/audio options for remote observers. A working three-button mouse is required.

Observers who wish to work remotely should indicate this on their Application for Observing Time, and (if granted time) on their Observing Requirements Form. We try to accommodate observers who want to change their run to 'remote' after the observing schedule has been posted. However, we CANNOT GUARANTEE remote observing for requests made on short notice due to:

  1. the scheduling of personnel to accompany the Telescope Operator on the summit (fulfilling the two-person safety requirement for working on Mauna Kea)
  2. because of possible incompatibilities of hardware and software on the user's side.

People who observe remotely from the Hilo or Manoa facilities are responsible for their own food, lodging and transportation.