AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 10 Instrumentation, Ground-based
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[10.02] Progress Report on the Student Astronomy Lab telescope at the University of Denver

R.R. Mellon, D.L. Scheld (Equinox Interscience), R.E. Stencel (Univ. Denver)

Integration and test activities associated with a new telescope for the Student Astronomy Laboratory (SAL) at the University of Denver are currently nearing completion on the main Denver campus. The 76.2-cm aperture SAL telescope incorporates novel design features, enabling it to operate as the first professional astronomical teaching and research telescope expressly designed to include use by wheelchair accommodated observers. The telescope is located 23-m above ground level on the fifth floor roof of the Space Sciences Laboratory building and is supported by a steel tower structure from the fourth floor support beams in the NW corner of the building. An afocal Mersenne optical configuration is used to send a collimated beam through the RA and DEC axes of the mounting, through a figure-4 mirror set, and thence vertically downward into a periscope, where condensing optics form an image plane accessible to visible band and IR detectors. A technical description of the telescope installation is provided, along with photographs illustrating key design features. Wheelchair-bound observers can enter the fourth floor lab and make use of an eye-level eyepiece when suitable periscope optics are installed. The SAL installation will be accessible to visitors by pre-arrangement with DU Observatories during the Denver AAS meeting [#204]. We are grateful to Glenn Montgpomery, Sarah Nelson and the estate of William Herschel Womble for their support of this University of Denver astronomy project.

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