Coming back to your question about how to get started, let’s look at the current approach: each unit (robotic observatory) has the POCS software installed, which includes a small file of targets; for each target there is a names, a location in J2000 coordinates, and a priority (there are other attributes, see here for an example). POCS uses astroplan to determine where each target is relative to the location of the unit (which might actually be on the other side of the Earth, so not visible), what angle it will be at relative to the horizon, etc., and uses these to decide on the target for which we can get the best images. For example, a target that will be low in the sky isn’t as good as one that will go straight overhead because there will be less air to look through for the latter (lower “air mass”), so there will be less extinction and likely the stars will suffer less twinkling (also called scintillation).
Each of the scopes is currently doing the above independently. This means that two units that could observe the same field on the same night (e.g. one in Tuscon, Arizona and one in Hawaii) won’t currently attempt to do so. Therefore, we’d like to introduce a protocol by which a unit can request from a remote server its next target, or a list of targets. At first the server could have the same behavior as the current scheduler (i.e. independent scheduling), but then we can introduce some coordination; e.g. given a set of scopes, we can group them into those which can see overlapping parts of the night sky, and then come up with the best target in that area of overlap, and hand that target to each member of the group.
From a science perspective, this will result in more continuous observations of the selected target, which means that we’re less likely to miss an exoplanet transit. This mechanism also makes it easier to participate in exciting observations, such as of a comet or supernova; these are referred to as a “target of opportunity”).
I hope that helps with the background. We can have further discussions about protocol if you’re interested.