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Proceedings Paper

1.8-m Spacewatch telescope motion control system
Author(s): Marcus L. Perry; Terrence Bressi; Robert S. McMillan; Andrew Tubbiolo; Lawrence D. Barr
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Paper Abstract

The 1.8 meter Spacewatch telescope and its building on Kitt Peak were dedicated on June 7, 1997 for the purpose of finding previously unknown asteroids and comets. Drift- scanning large areas of sky with a CCD will be done at rates up to 10 times that of the sidereal rate over angles up to 60 degrees of arc along great circles at various orientations. The primary mirror and cell around which the telescope are from the multi-mirror telescope on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona. The telescope's friction drive system allows backlash-free control of its altitude-over-azimuth mount. The mount features bearings of small radii and plenty of motor torque to compensate for wind buffeting. Both incremental and absolute encoders will be used; the absolute encoders will update the position derived from incremental encoders to compensate for the microslipping that is an unavoidable consequence of a friction drive. The control system features commercially produced servo controller cards that are programmed from a user interface program running in a PC under DOS. Realtime operation of the drive is controlled by the interface cards, leaving the PC free to run the display of the position readout and accept keyboard input for the observer without interfering with the drive. It is believed that this design offers the greatest flexibility and accuracy of our search programs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1998
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 3351, Telescope Control Systems III, (26 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308809
Show Author Affiliations
Marcus L. Perry, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Terrence Bressi, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Robert S. McMillan, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Andrew Tubbiolo, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Lawrence D. Barr, Barr Engineering Arts (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3351:
Telescope Control Systems III
Hilton Lewis, Editor(s)

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