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PANOPTES Observatory Control System

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The recent v0.7.0 release of POCS is not backwards compatible. If you are one of the folks running that software, please either do a reinstall of your system using the instructions below or see our forum for advice.


PANOPTES is an open source citizen science project that is designed to find transiting exoplanets with digital cameras. The goal of PANOPTES is to establish a global network of of robotic cameras run by amateur astronomers schools in order to monitor, as continuously as possible, a very large number of stars. For more general information about the project, including the science case and resources for interested individuals, see the about page.

POCS (PANOPTES Observatory Control System) is the main software driver for the PANOPTES unit, responsible for high-level control of the unit. This repository also contains a number of scripts for running a full instance of POCS.

Getting Started

POCS is designed to control a fully constructed PANOPTES unit. Additionally, POCS can be run with simulators when hardware is not present or when the system is being developed.

For information on building a PANOPTES unit, see the main PANOPTES website and join the community forum.

To get started with POCS there are three easy steps:

  1. Setup POCS on the computer you will be using for your unit or for development.
  2. Test your POCS setup by running our testing script
  3. Start using POCS!

See below for more details.


We rely heavily on much of the code in panoptes-utils.



POCS Environment

If you are running a PANOPTES unit then you will most likely want the entire PANOPTES environment.

There is a bash shell script that will attempt to install an entire working POCS system on your computer. Some folks even report that it works on a Mac.

To test the script, open a terminal and enter:

curl -L | bash

Or using wget:

wget -O - | bash

POCS Module

If you want just the POCS module, for instance if you want to override it in your own OCS (see Huntsman-POCS for an example), then install via pip:

pip install panoptes-pocs

If you want the extra features, such as Google Cloud Platform connectivity, then use the extras options:

pip install "panoptes-pocs[google]"


See the Testing section of the Contributing guide.

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