The term software telescope can indicate a telescope that uses software processing of the incoming data in a very basic way to isolate signals, such as to determine from which direction the telescope receives signals, in effect, to aim it. The term is often used for telescope phased arrays whose individual units have no mechanical ability to aim, which are aimed using aperture synthesis implemented in software to isolate signals from a specific direction. It is especially useful for very long wavelength radio.
The term is also more loosely used for other telescopes that heavily depend upon software signal processing, e.g., arrays of many aimable receivers where non-software methods of handling the aperture synthesis would be intractable.
Telescopes (or plans) that fit the term include the FFT Telescope and the Low-frequency Array (LOFAR).