A remote, autonomous laboratory for Antarctica with hybrid power generation

Jon S. Lawrence, M. C B Ashley, J. W V Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The AASTINO (Automated Astrophysical Site Testing INternational Observatory) is a remote laboratory that has been operating at Dome C station on the Antarctic plateau since January 2003. It is designed to run throughout the Antarctic winter without intervention, and to collect data on the astronomical qualities of the site. A Stirling engine and a pair of solar panels power the observatory. Command, control and communication is via the Iridium satellite network. A supervisor computer system controls all aspects of engine and power source management, communications, instrument control, and data collection. The AASTINO system is designed with the capability to run completely autonomously in the event of communications failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antarctic astronomy
  • Antarctica
  • Automated control systems
  • Remote power systems
  • Stirling engine


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