Calendar of Events

Monday, May 3 2021

Monday, May 3, 2021 - 3:30pm - 4:45pm

This is the story of engineering a remote 0.5 m telescope that will eventually be deployed in Chile for astronomical imaging.  Getting this system configured, tested, and running turned into a year-long project while in pandemic isolation.  As we’ll see, engineering an optical system goes far beyond simply producing the best optical design. This project drew on nearly every optical engineering discipline including optical design, physical optics, optical testing, mechanical design, sensor optimization and systems engineering—along with some “garage-shop” problem solving.  A new AI based wavefront analysis system was also used to precisely evaluate optical alignment.  We’ll start with a review of the optical design of a 20” Planewave CDK telescope, look at the optical system for guiding and auto-focusing, and review some of the considerations for selecting an appropriate imaging sensor.  Then we’ll look at what it takes to actually configure, test, align, and operate the telescope as a part of the commissioning process in the real world. Along the way, we’ll encounter a number of practical lessons that apply to any optical engineering project.