OGS Telescope

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ESA Optical Ground Station

The OGS (Optical Ground Station) telescope, installed in the Teide Observatory, has been built by Carl Zeiss, is owned by ESA (European Space Agency) and is operated by the IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias).

The telescope is a 1 m Ritchey-Chretien / Coudé telescope supported by an English-built mount inside a dome 12.5 m in diameter. Its main purposes are:

  1. to be the optical ground station of the Artemis telecommunications satellite (the project from which the telescope takes its name)
  2. to make surveys of space debris in different orbits around the Earth,
  3. to test observing strategies of near-Earth objects as part of ESA's Space Situational Awareness programme, and
  4. to make scientific astronomical night observations.

Since 2006, the telescope has also been used as a receiver station for quantum communication experiments (such as testing Bell inequalities, quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation), with the sender station being 143 km away in the observatory on La Palma.[1] This is possible because this telescope can be tilted to a near-horizontal position to point it at La Palma, which many large astronomical telescopes are unable to do.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ESA observatory breaks world quantum teleportation record, ESA press release, 6 September 2012.

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