Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Talking Success with observatory automation

    I work for a UK university observatory, and currently we have 7 domes housing optical telescopes. The downside is that even though our students and the public use the observatory often, it's rarely in use past 10/11pm. As the observatory is also some distance from the University itself (to escape the lights of nearby towns), our students aren't all able to get up to the observatory by themselves to do all-night observing.

    Enter ACP...

    We've got it going on one telescope initially, the major hardware addition being the dome controller. It's been up and running for a few months, naturally a few bumps along the way as to be expected, but getting it going in the first place was a lot smoother than I'd imagined.
    The last few nights have been lovely and clear and the telescope's pretty much running on its own now with us just keeping the queue topped up via the web.

    On one night we recorded the dome webcam to make a timelapse:
    CKT timelapse

    Some clouds in the beginning but once it gets going it doesn't stop. It's still in the testing phase and the telescope's never been so productive, we're getting more images than we know what to do with!

    Of course we're hoping to upgrade the other domes in the future, the staff and students alike are very excited.

    A big thank you Bob! This is a big milestone in the observatory's history.


    David
    Last edited by Bob Denny; Oct 22, 2012 at 19:01. Reason: Update video link (rbd)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    29,670

    Default

    Dave --

    Thank you so much for sharing this with our group. I really do appreciate it. Congratulations on making it so far.
    -- Bob

  3. #3

    Default

    Well in my last post I said we were hoping to automate more telescopes, and I'm happy to say we're now working on four more.
    Today we finished setting up ACP in our 6th dome and did a quick test of the dome control (all together of course for cinematic effect..)



    Looking good so far!
    The four new ones are running the telescope simulator at the moment, they're a mix of LX200 GPS and Classics - we're having fun with the drivers.
    New focusers are in place, the cameras should go back on soon. Lots of work still to do to set them up but we're hoping to have them all up and running again before the students arrive again in October.

    At least the nights are getting longer...

    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    29,670

    Default

    Impressive!! I'm so happy to get good news like this. I really like the videos!!

    Please contact us as you get the additional scopes operational so we can get the licensing worked out.
    -- Bob

 

 

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. False focus success
    By Mark de Regt in forum FocusMax and PoleAlignMax Questions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Apr 8, 2011, 04:28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •