Published in Proceedings of SPIE, Volume 7012, June 23, 2008.
Copyright © 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited. This paper is also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.786428.
We describe the optical design of a sky survey system comprised of small aperture telescope tube assemblies mounted on a common semi-equatorial frame with a single polar axis. It is the first ground-based instrument to create a map of transients down to optical m=17 by imaging a fixed-declination strip of the sky on a nightly basis. The system is fully remotely automated and physically robust. The mount tracks the sky using a motion controller, drive motor, and a laser rotary encoder. The prototype configuration is suited to house up to 6 telescopes on the current mount and is easily expandable to accommodate up to 30 telescopes which would enable full sky coverage if one system each were placed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
Statistics and Probability