We report on the current operating status of the ROTSE‐IIIa telescope, currently undergoing testing at Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico. It will be shipped to Siding Spring Observatory, Australia, in first quarter 2002. ROTSE‐IIIa has been in automated observing mode since early October, 2001, after completing several weeks of calibration and check‐out observations. Calibrated lists of objects in ROTSE‐IIIa sky patrol data are produced routinely in an automated pipeline, and we are currently automating analysis procedures to compile these lists, eliminate false detections, and automatically identify transient and variable objects. The manual application of these procedures has already led to the detection of a nova that rose over six magnitudes in two days to a maximum detected brightness of mR ∼ 13.9 and then faded two magnitudes in two weeks. We also readily identify variable stars, includings those suspected to be variables from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We report on our system to allow public monitoring of the telescope operational status in real time over the WWW. © 2003 American Institute of Physic
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