Thursday, 28 July 2016

August Progress Update

A team have visited the Teide Observatory to perform maintenance on the Autonomous Robotic Telescope (ART) and oversee the construction of the new facilities that will form the OpenScience Observatories.


As you will know the ART (formerly BRT) is currently offline. A team have visited the facility in an attempt to fix the issues with the telescope system that needed local input.

The ART is responsive to local commands – both the telescope and dome appear to be in good working order. GalaxyCam and ClusterCam have been tested and the images returned appear to show that both cameras are in good working order.

The team found that ConstellationCam had, unfortunately, become detached from the main telescope assembly. Upon reattached, inclement weather unfortunately prevented a check on the focus.

Now that we know that at least two of the three cameras are in working order and that the movement of the dome and telescope appears to be satisfactory, we are attempting to re-establish the autonomous mode of operation. This will allow observations to restart.

OpenScience Observatories

The Open University is currently constructing new astronomical facilities on Mount Teide Tenerife. Two new domes will house the OUs existing remotely operated telescope, PIRATE, and a new, Completely Autonomous Telescope - COAST. Collectively, these new facilities will form part of the ‘OpenScience Observatories’.

As mentioned in a previous news item, the new COAST facility will operate in a very similar way to the existing ART.
Work on the facilities is progressing well….

Dome under construction

Completed 4.5m dome

Installing the mount

PIRATE First Light - M8

Keeping You Updated

We will keep you updated via this website on progress with our attempts to fix the ART and the construction of the new facilities. 

You can also check out the pirate twitter feed for regular updates and pictures related to the new facilities.