as it is now official I wanted to inform you that shortly (well, by the end of december 2020) we will add a new system, which will be located in Spain.
- Planewave CDK500, comprised of a Planewave 20" Astrograph (3450mm focal length) on their L-500 direct drive mount
- Mount will be in equatorial position using a wedge
- FLI Proline 16803 CCD camera with Lodestar guider (supposedly we won't need it up to 600 secs of exposure...)
- Two FLI filter wheels, boasting a total of 12 filters: LRGB, Ha O3 S2, "empty" (no filter slot), NIR (Near IR), EXO (both from Astrodon), R, B, V for photometry (photometric filters: FLI Research grade)
- The whole thing is mounted in a private Dome, minimum altitude above horizon: 10°
- A very powerful computer to speed up the data processing
Most components are ready to ship, but we have to wait for a few "minor" things like the pier adapter to be ready. If all goes well, by Christmas it could be mounted and - given some time to test it - it could go online by end of december/beginning of january.
We shuffled back and forth on where to put it and what system to use. Luckily we were able to grab one of the last 16803 CCD cameras, so we ended up with a system which is nearly identical performance-wise to the 20" iDK in Namibia. Putting it in Spain will give us a backup if weather shall be bad at one site, plus we can now cover well the northern hemisphere. Parallel observations from both sites will also become possible 😀
I am happy and a little proud that we were able to make this step, but it wouldn't be possible without the support of all our users. a big THANK YOU to all of you, and I hope this new system will make sure that we can improve availability and versatility of our services 😄