AlexOlson.com
ASCOM
1. Introduction
One of the projects I worked on was the development of ASCOM compatable drivers for the remote-control of telescope hardware over the Internet. The ASCOM standard specifies the exact methods and properties a driver should have as well as their behavior.
2. The Problem
One of the challenges of this project was to counter-act the typical latency of the internet. The ASCOM standard was designed only with direct access to the hardware. Hence, many client programs poll the properties very frequently. Furthermore, some of them continuously change by themselves (clocks, position, dome status, etc).

The following devices were considered for control:

3. The Solution
The following problems were analysed and solved:

One of the advantages of an Ascom-compliant interface is that the server can use any ASCOM-compilant driver to communicate with the hardware. Thus a wealth of astronomy software can be used remotely to connect to any physical telescope.

The telescope hardware used at the Baton Rouge Observatory is described on this page: http://www.bro.lsu.edu/telescope