A robotic observatory in the city
A schematic view of the support structure underneath the telescope pier. The pier is attached to a crossbeam between two concrete columns extending to the building foundation. This structure shields the telescope from oscillations in the parking deck.
Block diagram of the observatory software systems.
A sample of 1 s images taken through a tripod-mounted telescope located on the parking deck outside of the observatory building. During imaging, we jumped on the deck to create vibrations. Displacement of a bright star in the image ranged from just under 1 arcmin to over 2 arcmin. In images taken through the CDK-17 in the observatory, stellar profiles range from 2.5 to 3.5 arcsec full width at half maximum even with light traffic on the ramp.
Image of the Great Orion Nebula from the UST Observatory in downtown St. Paul. All data for the image were acquired by UST students and final image processing was performed by co-author Gerry Ruch. Total exposure time is approximately 15 min per filter for a total exposure time of 1 h. Stars in the image are symmetric with a FWHM of approximately 2.5 arcsec. The spatial resolution and color detail in the image suggest that the system will perform well for a wide variety of projects.
List of all hardware in the system with current retail prices.
List of critical system specifications.
List of major software in the system with current retail prices.
Landolt standard sources used in measuring the limiting magnitude and photometric accuracy of the UST and Macalester observatories.
Results of FWHM, limiting magnitude, and photometric accuracy tests.
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