Astrophysical Robotics

As part of the study of nearby supernovae, in 2008, astronomers from CATA and Millennium Center for Supernova Science began to develop a robotic telescope aperture of 20 inches (50 centimeters), located at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). It has a model 3600 "El Capitán" mount, manufactured in the United States by Astro-Physics, an optical tube of Richey-Chrétien optical design manfuctured by Italian firm Officina Stellare. Additionaly, it is equipped with Russian optics, a CCD camera of 2k x 2k (4 Megapixels) from Finger Lakes Instrumentation Company and optical filters from Asahi.

The telescope is located at CTIO, which housed the telescope 16 # 2, whose new dome was built in Chile. This structure was designed the Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, University of Chile), and was built by Istria & HE Fiberglass.It has a control system developed by Vignola company and a rubber seal made by the firm Elastoplastic.

The telescope control system is RTS2, developed by the Czech engineer Petr Kubanek, Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Granada, Spain. The telescope, known as CHASE 500, is at committee stage (February 2011) and is expected to total robotic operation in the coming months. Its function is to discover supernovae in nearby galaxies by observing three thousand galaxies, repeatedly, every three days. The image processing will be automatic and is expected to find no fewer than 40 supernovas annually.

 

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