Bradford Robotic Telescope

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Bradford Robotic Telescope
Bradford Robotic Telescope.jpg
The Bradford Robotic Telescope against the peak of Teide
Location(s) Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates 28°17′54″N 16°30′34″W / 28.2983°N 16.5094°W / 28.2983; -16.5094Coordinates: 28°17′54″N 16°30′34″W / 28.2983°N 16.5094°W / 28.2983; -16.5094 Edit this at Wikidata
Organization University of Bradford Edit this on Wikidata
Observatory code J54 Edit this at Wikidata
Altitude 2,400 m (7,900 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Built 2002–2004 (2002–2004) Edit this at Wikidata
Telescope style optical telescope
Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter 35.5 cm (1 ft 2.0 in)
Mounting Equatorial mount
Enclosure Spherical dome Edit this on Wikidata
Website www.telescope.org
Bradford Robotic Telescope is located in Canary Islands
Bradford Robotic Telescope
Location of Bradford Robotic Telescope

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]

On May 15, 2016, the BRT team announced via email to registered users that control of the Bradford Telescope would be transferred to the Open University, and renamed the Autonomous Robotic Telescope (ART).

The transfer of the telescope assets to the Open University was completed in 2016. The original telescope hardware is in the process of being decommissioned (May 2017) and has been replaced by two telescopes on Mount Teide, the Physics Innovations Robotic Telescope Explorer (PIRATE) and the COmpletely Autonomous Service Telescope (COAST) installed as part of the OpenSTEM Labs facility.

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]