In the latest years, the increment and efficiency of the large surveys of Near Earth Objects are facilitating the discovery of a greater number of fainter NEO asteroids. The traditional follow-up task made by many observatories with medium aperture telescopes is resulting more and more difficult and, in many cases, is getting impossible or with a less quality astrometry, due to the poor signal produced in the image which not permit the accurate astrometric reduction that such objects require.
We are in front of a paradox in which many of the new discoveries of NEOs cannot be confirmed neither carry out the correct follow-up the next days by great part of the observatories dedicated to such tasks, and frustrating, therefore the improve in the equipment in many of those observatories with medium size telescopes is, in general, costly and not easy to finance.
The present project was born by the
observation team of the observatory of Mallorca in arranging of some
telescopes of greater aperture to continue with the NEO follow-up work
that traditionally has come carrying out the latest years. For that, after
a first experimental phase along 3 years, in which 3 Schmidt cameras of
40-cm for asteroid and NEO follow-up were already built, practically only
with their own means, the construction of 3 new telescopes of 61-cm
were initiated, with some very characteristic premises, that would turn
out the project interesting and attractive also for other observatories
with medium apertures and limited economic resources.
Our prior experience in the construction of
the other mountings, and particularly the lastest 40-cm. Schmidt cameras,
allows us to confront this new project, with renewed ideas and clear
conclusions such as:
e) The short tubes allow us to build simple,
economical, light and reduced forks without flexions neither excessive
inertia moments, they could be set up in domes or shelters of reduced size
and without the foundation prepared to bear large weights. That
determinant one condition obliges us to a compact optical design, more
complex, but that we consider most feasible by the members of the
|B) DEVELOPMENT AND
In April of 2001, once the telescopes were designed and their optical configurations were determined, and having studied the prices, the construction in parallel of the 3 telescopes Klevtsov destined to the observatories 620-Observatorio Astronůmico de Mallorca, 946-Ametlla de Mar and 165-Piera was initiated. (The stations of Ametlla de Mar and Piera, are part of the Observatorio de Mallorca team). Their serial construction permits a greater reduction of prices by unit.
Currently (latest December, 2002) the project
is on the following phase:
Klevtsov Corrector: composed by a double crystal BK7 of 18-cm of diameter. The corrector has been designed for those primary mirrors and to obtain a f/4.0 resultant focal lenght. The design and analisis of the optical has been performed by Mr. Gerardo Avila, of the Optical Instruments Group of the European Southern Observatory. (Karl_Schwarzschild-st. 2 85748 Garching, Munchen, Germany) VALMECA S.A.R.L. (Serge Deconihout), Lantelme 04700 PUIMICHEL (France) taked charge of the construction of the 3 correctors. They are already concluded.
Base and fork of tubular structure of solded iron, roll-bears and crowns, all of that already built by TALLERES MECANICOS A. FORT (Ametlla de Mar-Spain) (regular collaborator at the observatory of Ametlla de Mar). The optical tube of aluminum tubular structure.
The telescope is pointed for an adaptation of the Mel Bartels Project, by means of steppers. (http://www.bbastrodesigns.com/cot/cot.html) A simple and economical electronic control design. Although that hardware was thought up at first by Bartels to automate small mountings, we have verified their optimum performance with big mountings, by changing some details, voltages, motors and reductors.
The electronic devices are concluded, and the steppers, the reductors, and the tracking mechanisms, as well as control computers are all of them already available.
A program specifically developed by the observatory team (PANYC) controls both the forks and the CCD cameras by means of an ASCOM platform and LX200 commands. The program permits to be operated on inatended way both for survey and follow up. The control software has been tested extensively in other diverse telescopes
A new PANYC asp version allows a full internet control by the members of the observatory of Mallorca
The Observatory of Mallorca, has acquired 3 CCD FLI - Finger Lakes Cameras (http://www.fli-cam.com/) with detectors SITe 1024x1024 back-iluminated 24 x 24 microns. For each one of the telescopes.
An external system of cooling its being on practice.
1) We trust to be able to have the sufficient resources to have fully operating the 3 telescopes before the end of 2002. Its exclusive dedication will be in the field of the follow-up and survey of asteroids (with priority on the confirmation (NEOCP), the follow-up of virtual impactors catalogued by NEOdys and Sentry, and the recovery of NEOs, to the limit of detectability, that we estimate on mag 20.5 while we maintain the present CCD cameras, trusting with all it to increase the number, quality and utility of our future observations.
2) Constructive plans and images of the 3 telescopes, assembly phases will be exposed in a permanent way in the web site of the Observatory of Mallorca, with the intention of stimulating and to offer ideas to other observatories with medium size telescopes, to renew their instrumental, by means of a simple construction and by a reasonable economic cost.
|Ametlla, Dec 7, 2002||Piera, Dec 24, 2002||Mallorca, Jan 4, 2003|