This paper reviews how multi-facility observations are coordinated today and concludes that the process will be insufficient for the flood of transient follow-up campaigns expected in the era of gravity wave, cosmic ray and neutrino detectors, and the LSST. Improvement is also required in the coordinated observation of steady sources, and in the optimization of synchronized surveys.
Study of the efforts currently underway to resolve the problems shows much good work but a lack of overall coordination. We suggest that, even without a master plan, the various separate components that have been built, plus new ones not yet considered, could be assembled to make a web ‘platform’ that would be a useful aid to coordinated observing in the future.
A pilot use-case is used to develop a plan for that platform and a simplified prototype has been constructed.