Welcome to the TOM Toolkit’s documentation!

Quickstart Guide


The TOM (Target and Observation Manager) Toolkit project was started in early 2018 with the goal of simplifying the development of next generation software for the rapidly evolving field of astronomy. Read more about TOMs and the motivation for them.

TOM Toolkit Architecture - This document describes the architecture of the TOM Toolkit at a high level. Read this first if you’re interested in how the TOM Toolkit works.

Getting Started with the TOM Toolkit - First steps for getting a TOM up and running.

TOM Workflow - The general workflow used with TOMs.

Programming Resources - Resources for learning the core components of the TOM Toolkit: HTML, CSS, Python, and Django

Frequently Asked Questions - Look here for a potential quick answer to a common question.

Troubleshooting - Find solutions to common problems or information on how to debug an issue.

Interested in seeing what a TOM can do? Take a look at our demonstration TOM, where we show off the features of the TOM Toolkit.

If you’d like to know what we’re working on, check out the TOM Toolkit project board.


Targets - Learn all about how to manage Targets in a TOM.

Brokers - Find out about querying brokers in the TOM, which are available, and writing your own.

Observing - Tutorials on submitting observations, customizing submission, and the available facilities.

Managing Data - Customize plots, upload data, and even integrate a data reduction pipeline.

Customization - Customize and create new views in your TOM.

The Permissions System - Use the permissions system to limit access to targets in your TOM.

LaTeX Generation - Generate data tables for your targets and observations

Interacting with your TOM through code - Learn how to programmatically interact with your TOM.

Deploying your TOM Online - Resources for deploying your TOM to a cloud provider

TOM Settings - Reference and description for the available settings values to be added to/edited in your project’s settings.py.


If you find an issue, you need help with your TOM, you have a useful idea, or you wrote a module you’d like to be included in the TOM Toolkit, start with the Contribution Guide.

Acknowledging the TOM Toolkit

We hope you find our software useful for your research. If so, we would be grateful if you can include a brief acknowledgement in your papers and presentations, for example “This research made use of The TOM Toolkit”. We would also very much appreciate you including a citation to our paper describing the Toolkit Street, R.A. et al., 2018, SPIE, 10707, 11 (to export the BibTeX please click here).


Looking for help? Want to request a feature? Have questions about Github Issues? Take a look at the support guide.

If you just need an idea, checkout out the examples of existing TOMs built with the TOM Toolkit.

API Documentation

Indices and tables

About the TOM Toolkit

The TOM Toolkit is managed by Las Cumbres Observatory, with generous financial support from the National Science Foundation grant 2209852. We are also grateful for support from the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Zegar Family Foundation at the start of the project.

Read about the project and the motivations behind it on the About page.