14 July 2008 Concise telescope pointing algorithm using IAU 2000 precepts
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Abstract
The accuracy requirements for pointing a ground-based telescope or antenna are comparatively modest; the latest Earth orientation models used by specialists have precision goals measured in microarcseconds and are excessive for such humble applications. Abridged formulations offer an attractive alternative: easier to get right, and much quicker to compute. Moreover, the revised computational procedures that the IAU introduced in 2000 to assist high-precision studies of Earth rotation lend themselves to approximation. Together with basic models for aberration and refraction, a page of inline C code is enough to predict the observed altazimuth coordinates of a star to an accuracy of 1-2 arcseconds, which is adequate for pointing a small telescope. This can be complemented by a similarly concise formulation of the basic pointing corrections for an equatorial or altazimuth mount.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Patrick T. Wallace, "Concise telescope pointing algorithm using IAU 2000 precepts", Proc. SPIE 7019, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II, 701908 (14 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788712; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.788712
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