Jessica Solano was born and raised on the island of Oahu where she graduated from Mililani High School in 2005. She is currently a sophomore at University of Puget Sound, where she is pursuing a major in mathematics and a minor in science, technology, and society. At school, she loves to get involved with various activities on campus, where she is a member of Alpha Phi, an officer of the Hui O Hawaii club, and a dancer of University of Puget Sound’s Repertory Dance Group.
Home Island: Oahu
Institution when accepted: University of Puget Sound
Akamai Project: LabVIEW Control Software for the UH-Hilo 0.9m Telescope
Project Site: University of Hawai’i at Hilo
Mentor: John Hamilton. Advisor: Bill Heacox
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s (UH-Hilo) manually controlled 0.6m telescope, built on Mauna Kea in 1968, is being replaced by their new 0.9m telescope. This modern telescope will be in a newly-renovated educational observatory and will be electronically controlled from UH-Hilo at sea level. However, given that there is no standard telescope control software (TCS) used by all telescopes, UH-Hilo has to customize their own TCS system through LabVIEW. In order to modify and develop their TCS over time, the Physics and Astronomy Department wants to familiarize themselves with LabVIEW’s graphical programming language. I helped to tailor and implement their TCS system by first observing and comparing electronically-controlled telescopes on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. To help the department with LabVIEW, I modified current LabVIEW telescope programs, recorded complications, created an easy-to-read manual for first-time LabVIEW users, and started a program to locate the telescope on a polar graph representing the visible sky. With this manual and base program, the faculty and students can further their research by enhancing the capabilities of their own TCS, as well as aid in operating and customizing the telescope to their convenience.