80-cm Telescope

Alt-azimuthal mount 80cm telescope by Astelco, managed for what concerns the scientific activity by the Physics Department (DIFI) of the University of Genova, Italy.

The instrument was fully-characterized with standard stars observations in all the available filters for zero-point determination and extinction coefficient. The results of the commissioning have been submitted for publication to the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments and Systems: the pre-review version is available on the arXiv server.

The telescope in operation (credits Chiara Righi)

Focal station

The telescope accounts with a double focal station:

  • the first, provided with a field derotator, is dedicated to science observations, and currently equipped with an air-cooled CCD camera (3 CCDs are available: Sbig STL 11000M ATIK 11000M and Sbig STL 11000M) and a standard UBVRI Johnson filter wheel;
  • the second is dedicated to amateurs and set up for several optical oculars.

Pointing

Pointing and position of the secondary mirror are currently controlled using the proprietary AstelOS software, provided by the constructor, on a dedicated Linux machine, while the image data capture is managed by the MaxIm software, running under Windows on a laptop directly connected to the camera.

Timing

The time stamp is obtained via a GPS antenna device.

Tracking

Further telescope tests allowed to carry out the pointing and tracking accuracy, and a python image reduction pipeline was set up.

CCD

Concerning the Sbig STL 11000M ATIK 11000M and Sbig STL 11000M CCD cameras commissioning, deep tests allowed to calculate

  • gain,
  • readout noise,
  • dark current,
  • plate scale,
  • linearity regime.

Spectrograph

Two spectrographs are available: an Echelle spectrograph provided with the telescope with a fiber optic link, and a LHIRES-III.

More

Further projects aims at the remotization and robotization of the telescope with the rts2 framework, and the use of cutting-edge websocket-based solutions are under development.