ASTRONOMICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
0.81m Telescope - 32 Inch Telescope
Photo by John Stone
Astro-Research 32in Robotic Telescope
Installing the 32" telescope in the observatory
Lifting the base unit with a 20 ton crane. Lowering base unit into the observatory
Mounting the base unit to the 12 ton concrete pier. Lowering fork into observatory.
Mounting the fork to the polar shaft and base unit. View is from the computer room.
Tightening bolts to attach the 700 pound fork to the base assembly.
Lifting the center section with the crane.
Fitting the center section to the telescope fork.
Subject: Lockwood Custom Optics fabricator of the 32 inch primary mirror.
Design of the Astro-Research (0.81 meter) 32" f/4.60 Telescope
|Mirror Diameter||0.81 meter (32")|
|Focal Length||128.2 inches|
|Central Obstruction 6.55" Prime Focus CCD Camera||8.6%|
|Waves Of Correction Primary Mirror||11.56|
|Airy Disk Size (Microns)||6.7|
|Aperture Size In Square Inches||804 sq. inches|
|Light Gathering X Human Eye||16,384|
|5 min exp. Approx CCD Limiting Magnitude 90% Probability||21.74 unfiltered|
|5 min exp. Approx CCD Limiting Magnitude 10% Probability||22.12 unfiltered|
|Field Of View With a SBIG STL-1001E CCD Camera||25.6' x 25.6'|
|CCD Resolution of the SBIG STL-1001E (24 micron pixels)||1.34 arc sec/pixel|
|Tube Design||Open Truss|
|Optical Baffling||Primary, Camera|
|Mount Type||Fork Mount|
|RA Drive Size||32" Diameter|
|Dec Drive Size||32" Diameter|
|Pointing Accuracy||9.25 arc sec RMS|
|Tracking Accuracy||< 1 arc sec - 300 sec|
|Fully Robotic||Slew and Image|
|Drive Electronics||Software Bisque MKS 4000|
Subject: Software Bisque MKS 4000
1st year of operation 2006-2007
As of June 26th 2007, the Astronomical Research Institute (ARI) 32 inch (0.81m) telescope has been operating for one year with a Software Bisque MKS 4000 controlling a 2 ton telescope. Without question this telescope control system rivals the quality of major professional observatories. During this first year of operation the following statistics have emerged.
21,097 slews were commanded
17,436 science frames taken
871 hours of imaging time
124 nights of operation
Faintest moving object (NEO) on three images V = 23.6
During this first year of operation not one telephone call or email was sent to Software Bisque regarding setup or operation of the MKS 4000. In the first year the MKS 4000 functioned perfectly on every one of the 21,097 slews. Not a single hic-cup occurred while tracking or slewing using the Telescope Control System. Even if the main computer went down, and it did, the MKS 4000 kept on tracking and told the computer where it was without homing after re-boot. During the first year only one T-point model was ran to increase pointing accuracy. The MKS 4000 functioned so well that we never instituted PEC and never enacted ProTrack.
The MKS 4000 by Software Bisque has been operating for over 4 years without a single failure. Clearly this is a testament to the quality and engineering of this telescope control system. The 1.3m (50 inch) telescope currently under construction at ARO will use the same telescope controller.