Pytelpoint: An open-source package for modeling and assessing telescope pointing performance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents pytelpoint, an open-source Python1 package that uses PyMC2 ( to perform robust analysis of telescope pointing performance. It implements pointing models in a way similar to TPOINT3 and uses compatible parameter names and definitions. This way results can be easily compared with previous TPOINT analysis and implemented in telescope control systems that use TPOINT or TPOINTcompatible pointing models. The Bayesian modeling techniques that PyMC enables allow for much more robust determinations of the uncertainties in model parameters and the correlations between them. Several visualization routines are provided to help assess results and the residuals of the model fits. Some examples will be shown of how this has been used at the MMTO.4 The initial release only supports elevation-azimuth telescopes. Support for other kinds of mounts is planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy VII
EditorsJorge Ibsen, Gianluca Chiozzi
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653597
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy VII 2022 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 21 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


ConferenceSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy VII 2022


  • Pointing Models
  • Probabilistic Analysis
  • Telescope Control Systems
  • Telescopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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