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OpenScience Observatories Information

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Telescope.org is now the home of the OpenScience Observatories. The Autonomous Robotic Telescope (ART, the former Bradford Robotic Telescope) is being decommissioned, and two new fully autonomous robotic facilities, PIRATE and COAST, have taken its place. PIRATE, COAST and ART are collectively known as the Tenerife facilities of the OpenScience Observatories.

The Open University has installed PIRATE and COAST at the Observatorio del Teide as part of its OpenSTEM Labs initiative that provides remote-access experiments to distance teaching students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. COAST will also become available for anyone to use, by subscription via telescope.org, much as was the case for ART.

Construction began in Spring 2016 with the preparation of concrete foundations and utility supply, while the installation of the clam-shell 4.5m and 3.5 m Baader Planetarium All-Sky domes and their astronomical hardware was completed in August 2016. The formal inauguration on 6 July 2017 marks the end of the commissioning phase.

PIRATE

PIRATE (Physics Innovations Robotic Astronomical Telescope Explorer) has moved from its former home at the Observatori Astronomic de Mallorca and is continuing its photometric monitoring programme of variable stars, transients and transiting exoplanets. The 17 inch f/6.8 Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph telescope (a PlaneWave CDK17) is equipped with an FLI ProLine KAF-16803 CCD camera and a choice of broadband and narrow-band filters. The mount is a 10Micron GM4000 robotic German equatorial model.

COAST

COAST (COmpletely Autonomous Survey Telescope) consists of a 14 inch f/10 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (a Celestron 14), equipped with a SBIG STL 1001E camera, broadband and narrow-band filters, mounted also on a GM4000.

The control software, Abot by Sybilla Technologies, supports fully autonomous operations in queue-scheduled mode as well as remote-controlled real-time use for both facilities.

Specifications

PIRATE Mark III COAST
Dome Baader Planetarium All-Sky 4.5m Baader Planetarium All-Sky 3.5m
Mount 10Micron GM4000 10Micron GM4000
OTA CDK17 (corrected Dall-Kirkham) Celestron 14 (Schmidt-Cassegrain)
Aperture 17 inch (42 cm) 14 inch (35 cm)
Focal length 2940 mm (f/6.8) 3800 mm (f/10)
camera FLI ProLine KAF-16803 SBIG STL1001E
CCD KAF-16803, 4096x4096 Kodak , 1024x1024
Pixel size 9 microns 24 microns
Filters Baader LRGB, Halpha, OIII and SII Johnson BVRI, Clear, Halpha, OIII and SII
Field of view 43 arcmin 29 arcmin
Plate scale 0.63 arcsec/px 1.7 arcsec/px
© 2017 The Open University