17 September 2012 Control system for the first three Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3-1)
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Abstract
The first Three Antarctic Survey Telescope (AST3-1), a 50/68cm Schmidt-like equatorial-mount telescope, is the first automated Chinese telescope operating on the Antarctic plateau. It is planned to be in operations at Dome A, the highest peak on the Antarctic plateau, in 2012. The telescope is unmanned during night-time operations in the Austral winter. The telescope optics and mechanics, as well as the motors and position sensors, are exposed to a very harsh environment. The mechanics is enclosed with a foldable tent-like dome to prevent snow, diamond dust and ice. While the drive boxes, most circuit, power supply and computers are located inside the warm instrumental cabin. This article describes the challenges the telescope control system encountered in night-time operations, such as the power supply limit, the harsh meteorological condition, unattended testing, automatic operation, remote control and telemetry, etc. Some solutions are also discussed in this paper, which are applied on the AST3-1 and waiting for validation. AST3-1 is also an exploration of a larger telescope on the Antarctic.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Xiaoyan Li, Daxing Wang, Lingzhe Xu, Jianlin Zhao, Fujia Du, Yue Zhang, "Control system for the first three Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3-1)", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84445M (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924960; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.924960
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