MAXDome ( Computerised dome rotation only), 6.7m Dome
The observatory entirely automated and increasingly accessible thanks to the recent technological changes allowing to order cameras, equipment CCC remotely, carries ocular, mountings and using the MaxDome system the cupolas Sirius Observatories. Developed by the Canadian company Limited Diffraction, editor of the famous software of astrophotography MaximDL, the MaxDome controller is initially designed for the cupolas of the Australian manufacturer. It is however possible to adapt MaxDome for the rotation of other cupolas. Major interest of this system of automation and to provide to control at the same time displacements of the cupola and the opening of the cimier. Thanks to Internet and a PC remotely order entirely your observatory to several tens or hundreds of kilometers of this one.
The software of MaxDome is able using a position encoder of the cupola to make it possible this one to follow the position of the telescope. The dome is then "slave" of the telescope! It is easy using a cable of Rs-232 connection to connect the instrument to a PC, the position of the instrument will then be interpreted without difficulty by the MaxDome software. To know the position of the cupola precisely, the system of automation has an optical sensor positioned near the system of drive of the toothed rectangular stem (see photo above). Using a black Scotch tape covering half of surface with the gears (or a black painting), the sensor is able to know rotation progressively the position of the cupola.
For the automation of the cimier of the magnetic sensors are used. In position of total closing these sensors are placed one opposite the other. At the time of the opening of the lower parts or higher the two sensors are not any more in the vicinity. The communication between the magnetic sensors and the controller is carried out by radio wave without wire. To reach the maximum degree of automation, the MaxDome system is compatible with weather probes. According to the cloud cover or the presence of rain, MaxDome orders the closing of the cimier automatically. A probe as that proposed by Diffraction Limited called "Detecting of Boltwood clouds" is perfectly adaptable with the MaxDome system. Your observatory does not require any manual help for the opening, the closing or the follow-up of displacements of the telescope. Place your observatory in a place free from luminous pollution to benefit from the formidable performances of your equipment CCC and your instrument.
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