29 August 2016 A green observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert
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Abstract
Since 2007, the Ruhr-Universit¨at Bochum (RUB) in Germany and Universidad Cat´olica del Norte (UCN) in Chile jointly operate the Universit¨atssternwarte der Ruhr-Universit¨at Bochum (USB), which is located in direct neighborhood of the future E-ELT of ESO. It is the only observatory powered exclusively by solar panels and wind turbines. Excess power is stored in batteries that allow uninterrupted operation even in windless nights. The scientific equipment consists of three robotic optical telescopes with apertures ranging from 15 cm (RoBoTT) over 25 cm (BESTII) to 40 cm (BMT) and one 80 cm (IRIS) infra-red telescope. The optical telescopes are equipped with Johnson and Sloan broad band filters together with a large number of narrow and intermediate bands. In the infrared, J,H and K filters are available, accompanied by several narrow bands near the K band wavelength. The second Nasmyth focus in the 80 cm telescope feeds a high resolution echelle spectrograph similar to the FEROS instrument of ESO. This variety of instruments has evolved from different collaborations, i.e. with the University of Hawaii (IfA) in the USA, which provided the near-infrared-camera of the IRIS telescope, or with the Deutsches Zentrum f¨ur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Germany, which provided the BESTII telescope. The highly automatized processes on all telescopes enable a single person to run the whole facility, providing the high cost efficiency required for an university observatory. The excellent site conditions allow projects that require daily observations of astronomical objects over epochs of several months or years. Here we report on such studies of young stellar objects from the Bochum Galactic Disk Survey, the multiplicity of stars, quasar variability or the hunt for exo-planets.
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Michael Ramolla, Michael Ramolla, Christian Westhues, Christian Westhues, Moritz Hackstein, Moritz Hackstein, Martin Haas, Martin Haas, Klaus Hodapp, Klaus Hodapp, Roland Lemke, Roland Lemke, Angie Barr Domínguez, Angie Barr Domínguez, Rolf Chini, Rolf Chini, Miguel Murphy, Miguel Murphy, } "A green observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert", Proc. SPIE 9911, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI, 99112M (29 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234018; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234018
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