Bradford Robotic Telescope

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Bradford Robotic Telescope
Bradford Robotic Telescope.jpg
The Bradford Robotic Telescope against the peak of Mount Teide in Tenerife
Organization University of Bradford
Location Tenerife, Canary Islands
Coordinates 28°17′54″N 16°30′34″W / 28.29833°N 16.50944°W / 28.29833; -16.50944Coordinates: 28°17′54″N 16°30′34″W / 28.29833°N 16.50944°W / 28.29833; -16.50944
Altitude 2400m
Wavelength Optical
Built 2002
Telescope style Schmidt-Cassegrain
Diameter 35.5cm
Focal length f/5.3
Mounting Equatorial
Dome Half Sphere
Website http://www.telescope.org

The Bradford Robotic Telescope (BRT) is an autonomous astronomical telescope located at Teide Observatory, Tenerife in the Canary Islands. It is owned by the University of Bradford and was built between 2002 and 2004 for remote use by schools[1] and individuals worldwide. As of November 2009, the observatory has returned over 70,000 images and has more than 23,000 users.[2]

Mount[edit]

All the hardware is mounted on top of a 2-meter high pier, which rests on the top of the bed rock of the mountain. The pier is made of steel and is filled with sand to prevent further damping. The Paramount ME mount is an equatorial mount, which means that RA axis points to the celestial pole, thus enabling the systems to track objects without field rotation.

Instrumentation[edit]

The Bradford Robotic Telescope consists of three optical systems providing varying fields of view.[3]

Control systems[edit]

In March 2003, a new dome arrived at the site. It uses the Meridian Controls system to control the full dome remotely. No human intervention is required.

Weather systems[edit]

The BRT Weather Station runs 24x7, but is unreliable. It is because the observatory is located very high up. It often occurs that there is haze or cloud cover, right till the bottom of the observatory. So, the observatory weather system relies on the meteorological forecasts from the weather station at Observatorio del Teide. It gives details such as wind speed and direction, solar radiation, internal and external humidity, etc. The main function of the weather station is to provide a signal to the safety control systems. It generates an 'alert' that describes what the weather conditions are. The safety systems have a set of 'rules' that determine bad weather. If any of these 'rules' are met, then the safety systems generates an alert that instruct the control systems to act accordingly.

The different cameras[edit]

Galaxy camera[edit]

Category Details
Camera FLI MicroLine fitted with an E2V CCD47-10. 1024 x 1024 pixels, each 13 µm square
Filter FLI CFW-2 Eight position filter wheel
Focus Optec TCF-s Temperature Controlled Focuser
Optical Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron C14 optical tube. 3910mm focal length, 355mm aperture at f/11. A Celestron focal reducer gives an effective focal length of 1877mm at f/5.3.
Field of view Approximately 24 arc minutes square

Cluster camera[edit]

Category Details
Camera FLI MaxCam CM2-1 fitted with an E2V CCD47-10. 1024 x 1024 pixels, each 13 µm square
Filter FLI CFW-2 Eight position filter wheel
Focus Fixed focus point
Optical Nikon 200mm lens
Field of view Approximately 3 degrees square

Constellation camera[edit]

Category Details
Camera FLI MaxCam CM2-1 fitted with an E2V CCD47-10. 1024 x 1024 pixels, each 13 µm square
Filter FLI CFW-2 Eight position filter wheel
Focus Fixed focus point
Optical Nikon 16mm lens at f/2.8
Field of view Approximately 40 degrees square

References[edit]

External links[edit]