Previous abstract Next abstract
A 16-inch Automatic Photometric Telescope (APT) has been further developed for Appalachian State University's Dark Sky Observatory (DSO). The instrument is a refurbished fork-mounted Cassegrain housed in a 2.5 meter ObservaDome facility with an attached warm room for the computers.
The telescope drive consists of a DC-motor optical-encoder system manufactured by DFM Engineering. These drive units are controlled by a DFM circuit card installed in a 486DX computer running the DFM TCS-386 Telescope Control System software. Telescope control commands are received through a serial port connection from a second computer which supervises all APT/facility functions and controls data acquisition.
Telescope command and data acquisition software now under development will be used in conjunction with DFM hardware and software to upgrade other telescopes at the DSO site.
The APT is running in a tended mode and undergoing CCD photometry testing procedures to determine the most effective use of the instrument and methods of data storage and transmission. It is expected to be fully automatic by late 1995.
Monday program listing