DFM Engineering

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Embry-Riddle Observatory's 1 meter diameter aperture reflecting telescope produced by DFM. It has a Ritchey–Chrétien optics design with a f/8 speed
1.3 meter aperture DFM telescope at United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station in Arizona, with a wide field view and main mirror by Kodak and Corning

DFM Engineering is an American telescope and optics manufacturer[1] located in Longmont, Colorado.[2] DFM Engineering was founded in 1979 by Dr. Frank Melsheimer. DFM makes medium size Cassegrain telescopes and their associated systems including telescope optics, control systems, and mounts. A range of pre-designed telescopes are made, as are various custom installations. In 2005 the base DFM 16" (40 cm) telescope system cost roughly 94 thousand USD.[3]

Major designs offered include

    • 16" - 0.4M CCT [4]
    • 20 & 24" - 0.5 & 0.6M CCT
    • 32" - 0.8M CCT
    • 40" - 1.0M CCT
    • 50" - 1.3M CCT and larger

DFM produced a 1.6 m solar telescope for the Big Bear Solar Observatory.[5] The United States Navy purchased a 1.3 m (51-inch) DFM telescope for the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station in Arizona, USA.[6]

DFM installations include many Universities and Institutions, including: Alfred University, Appalachian State University, Chabot Center, Clay Center-Dexter School, College of Charleston, College of Southern Idaho, Colorado University, Dickinson College, Emory University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Lewis & Clark College, Middlebury College, PARI / UNCA, Rowan University, University of Alabama, University of Calgary, University of Victoria, University of Michigan, University of Montreal, University of Wyoming, Valdosta State University, Virginia Military Institute, Williams College, Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and University of the Free State.

DFM engineering produced the telescope for the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) project.[7] ATLAS was funded by a grant from NASA and includes initially two telescopes set 100 miles (160 kilometers) apart.[8] The telescopes were tested by DFM in Colorado USA in 2015.[9] The telescopes are designed to look for Near Earth objects, especially ones that could destroy a city for examples.[10]

DFM also produed the telescope for Meter Class Autonomous Telescope (MCAT).[11] MCAT is designed to look for space debris, with a wide (41 degree) field of view, f/4 optics, and 1.4 meter aperture.[12] It is a reflecting telescope on a double horseshoe mount.[13] MCAT is located on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.[14]


  1. ^ "Software Bisque". www.bisque.com. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  2. ^ "Company Profile". DFM Engineering. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080409233826/http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/observatory/roboscope/commercial_roboscopes.html#dfm
  4. ^ The Dfm Engineering 0.4-METER Telescope
  5. ^ Newsworthy Articles
  6. ^ U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff - 1.3-m Reflector
  7. ^ "Asteroid Early-Warning System for Potential Impacts Makes Progress". Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ [4]
  12. ^ "Unique Scope Searches for Space Junk - Sky & Telescope". Sky & Telescope. 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ [6]

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