DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 51P. Kuiper Belt
Contributed Poster Session, Thursday, October 15, 1998, 5:00-6:30pm, Hall of Ideas

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[51P.11] Progress Report on the 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope

R. S. McMillan, T. H. Bressi, A. S. Descour, T. Gehrels, J. A. Larsen, J. L. Montani, M. L. Perry, M. T. Read, A. F. Tubbiolo (LPL/U.Az.)

The Spacewatch Project was begun "...to build and to place into operation a 182-cm scanning camera ... dedicated primarily to the search for small bodies of special interest in the solar system. Discovery of new earth-crossing asteroids, distant comets, and new classes of objects, such as Chiron...are among the goals..." (Gehrels 1980; Proposal). Work continues toward first light with the recently constructed 1.8-m Spacewatch Telescope (Barr 1993, internal report; Perry et al. 1996 BAAS 28, 1096). The servo controlled friction drives are being aligned, programmed, and tested (Perry et al. 1998 Proc. SPIE 3351, 450-465). The coma corrector/field flattener has been designed by Optical Design Services of Tucson with a field of view 0.8 deg in diameter and an image scale of 1.0 arcsec/24 micron pixel. Analyses for stray light and ghost images are being done by INOV, Inc. of Tucson. An SI424-AB thinned, back illuminated, antireflection-coated 2Kx2K CCD of excellent cosmetic quality has been received from SITe, Inc. of Beaverton, OR and its control and readout system is on order from Astronomical Research Cameras, Inc. of San Diego, CA. This system will be able to drift scan up to four times the sidereal rate along the ecliptic, as well as scan at subsidereal rates for more sensitivity. Four quadrant readout will permit efficient operation in "stop-and-stare" mode. A 400 MHz Pentium PC with 512 MB of SDRAM and 41 GB of disk will run Larsen's (1998 this Conf.) image motion software under Linux to detect asteroids and comets 40 efficiently than our 1989-vintage software. Limiting R mag will be 22 while scanning at the sidereal rate. In this mode the rate of coverage of sky will be 2000 square deg per year. Fainter magnitudes can be reached in longer "staring" exposures, while area coverage can be as much as 8000 square degrees per year with fast scanning. Funds are from DoD, NASA, and the private sector.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/spacewatch/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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