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4 February 2003 Afocal Mersenne telescope for teaching and research
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A new 76.2-cm aperture handicapped accessible telescope exhibiting novel design features is nearing completion for installation within the Space Sciences Laboratory building on the main campus of the University of Denver. This Student Astronomy Laboratory (SAL) instrument incorporates a Coude’ optical path working in combination with a vertical periscope to bring the optical beam to a location inside a 4th floor laboratory room, where visible and IR observations can be made. The primary and secondary mirrors are arranged in the afocal Mersenne configuration to provide a collimated, compacted beam that is folded through the rotating Right Ascension and Declination axes of the telescope mounting. A pair of optical flats then directs the compacted beam downward into the indoor laboratory, through visible or IR band auxiliary condensing telescopes, to locations where visual observers (including those in wheelchairs) or visible or IR instruments can be accommodated. The mounting uses large inner race diameter preloaded turntable bearings in each axis and provides a rotary stage at the payload flange to cancel image rotation associated with the Coude’ configuration. Long baseline interferometry is planned between the SAL and the DU Meyer-Womble Observatory on Mt. Evans, Colorado.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Russell R. Mellon, Daniel L. Scheld, and Robert E. Stencel "Afocal Mersenne telescope for teaching and research", Proc. SPIE 4837, Large Ground-based Telescopes, (4 February 2003);


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