26 May 1998 1.8-m Spacewatch telescope motion control system
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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.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Marcus L. Perry, Marcus L. Perry, Terrence Bressi, Terrence Bressi, Robert S. McMillan, Robert S. McMillan, Andrew Tubbiolo, Andrew Tubbiolo, Lawrence D. Barr, Lawrence D. Barr, } "1.8-m Spacewatch telescope motion control system", Proc. SPIE 3351, Telescope Control Systems III, (26 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308809; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.308809


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