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CDK1000 Observatory System

SKU# 1000101

Price: $575,000.00


*Price is based on PlaneWave’s Pricing Policy

Enjoy exceptional performance for astrophotography, research, or visual observing with the PW1000!

  • 1-meter aperture at f/6 and 6,000mm focal length providing pinpoint stars across a 100mm image circle (1 degree)
  • No coma, no off-axis astigmatism, and no field curvature
  • Compact Alt/Az design with dual Nasmyth ports allowing multiple instrumentation payloads to be installed on the telescope
  • Integrated direct drive field de-rotator / rotational field framing
  • Integrated direct drive mount with absolute encoders, zero periodic error, zero backlash, and minimal maintenance due to the lack of gears
  • Slew speeds up to 50 degrees/sec for satellite tracking and fast target acquisition
  • Optional 0.7x reducer for imaging at f/4.25 at 4,250mm focal length (part number 1000166)
  • Fast 1-day installation and on-sky taking images that same night (weather dependent)


The PW1000 is a complete 1-meter observatory-class telescope featuring a direct drive altitude-azimuth (Alt-Az) mounting system designed and engineered by PlaneWave. With a diffraction-limited 100mm image circle, the PW1000 is designed to excel at imaging on the largest format cameras available today. Light-weighted optics are made of zero-expansion fused silica materials for excellent thermal stability and maximum throughput. The dual Nasmyth ports allow two instruments to be installed simultaneously, and a computer-controlled M3 mirror allows either instrument to be remotely selected in seconds. With direct-drive motors, high-resolution encoders, zero-backlash, and no periodic error, the PW1000 sets a new standard in 1-meter class observatory telescopes.

Alt-Az mounts are the choice for most modern professional observatories. An Alt-Az mount is inherently more stable than an equatorial mount since there is no cantilevered mass, nor are there any large protruding counterweights to create a dangerous hazard in a public observatory. An Alt-Az telescope is also considerably more compact than its equatorial counterpart, allowing a larger telescope to fit in a smaller enclosure. The mass required to make a rigid Alt-Az mount is substantially less, leading to substantial cost savings. Unlike German Equatorial mounts, there are no meridian flips to deal with; you can image continuously from horizon to horizon if desired. With no polar alignment required, the Alt-Az mount is far more intuitive to use than a German Equatorial mount.


Light-Weighted Fused Silica Optics

Fused Silica has a coefficient of thermal expansion six times lower than Borosilicate (Pyrex) glass, which means that as it cools down, fused silica preserves its shape to a high degree of accuracy. This translates into consistent optical performance and unchanging focus over temperature changes.


Dual Nasmyth Focus Ports

The Nasmyth focus is along the altitude axis so the telescope does not need to be re-balanced when changing equipment.  Eyepieces remain at a constant height, greatly simplifying access to the telescope for public observatories. The computer-controlled M3 mirror allows either Nasmyth port to be selected in just a few seconds, allowing observers to easily transition between imaging and visual use, or other instrumentation.


Rotating Tertiary Mirror

The PW1000 includes an integrated rotator for the tertiary mirror, with magnetic locks to position the mirror precisely at either Nasmyth focus position. The rotator can move from one port to the other in under 10 seconds.


Direct drive motors and encoders

Direct Drive motors and absolute on-axis encoders eliminate the need for reduction gears, thereby eliminating backlash and periodic error. With high-resolution encoders providing the feedback for the direct drive motors, not only will the telescope track without periodic error and backlash, the mount will also counter wind gusts with precise servo feedback. The direct drive motors can move the telescope at incredible speeds for tracking satellites or just to minimize target acquisition time.


Automated Primary Mirror Shutter

Protects the primary mirror from unwanted dust and moisture with this integrated four shutter automated system, fully controllable with PlaneWave’s PWI software.


Proven Technology of the CDK1000

The CDK (Corrected Dall-Kirkham) Optical Design is an innovative solution for unsurpassed scientific investigation, visual observing and astro-imaging at an affordable price. It has excellent performance with large format CCD cameras, far exceeding the off-axis performance of most commercial telescope designs, including the uncorrected Ritchey-Chrétien.

Our design produces a flat, coma-free and astigmatic-free field of view. Since the secondary mirror is spherical, centering is very forgiving, making it easy to align the telescope optics for optimum performance. The end result at the image plane is no off-axis coma, no off-axis astigmatism, and a perfectly flat field to the edge of a 100mm image circle.  The stars will be pinpoints from the center to the corner of the field of view.

Additional information

Additional information

Weight 3500 lbs



Optical System

Optical Design Corrected Dall-Kirkham (CDK)
Aperture 1000 mm (39.37inch)
Focal Length 6000 mm
Focal ratio f/6
Central Obstruction 47% of the Primary Mirror Diameter
Back Focus 370 mm (14.55 inches) from Mounting Surface of de-rotator
Weight 3500 lbs
Optical Tube Dual truss structure with Nasmyth focus ports
Optical Performance 2.81 micron RMS spots on-axis, 3.88 micron RMS spots [35mm off-axis],  4.43 micron RMS spots [50mm off-axis] (400 to 900nm)
Dimensions 135″ H x 72″ W x 45″
Optimal Field of View 100 mm (1.0 degrees)
Focus Position Dual Nasmyth Focus Ports
Image Scale 29 microns per arcsecond at F/6

Mechanical Structure

Fork Assembly Space frame steel truss
Fork Base Welded stainless steel torsion box
Azimuth Bearing Dual 11.125 inch tapered roller bearings
Altitude Bearing Three 9.5 inch 4 way loaded ball bearings (two pre-loaded on motor side and one on non motor side)
Optical Tube Dual truss structure with Nasmyth focus
Instrument Payload 300 lbs (150 ft-lbs) – mounted on the field de-rotator plate

Motion Control

Motor Control Industrial grade Parker brushless motor control system and built in electronics
Motor – Azimuth and Altitude Direct Drive 3 Phase Axial-Flux Torque Motor
Encoder – Azimuth and Altitude Absolute encoder with a resolution of 0.005 arcseconds (268 million counts per revolution)
Motor Torque Greater than 200 ft-lbs of peak torque
Drive Electronics Controls the altitude and azimuth motors and encoders, 2 direct drive de-rotators with absolute encoders, 4 fans zones, 3 dew heater zones, two focusers, an array of temperature sensors, M3 port selector, primary mirror covers and magnetic axis deceleration
Telescope Control Software PlaneWave Interface 4 (PWI4) Software. Incorporates PointXP mount modeling software and All Sky PlateSolve, both by Dave Rowe. Also includes automatic focusing, dew heater control, primary mirror cover control, dome control and provides HTTP and ASCOM control interfaces. Linux and Windows compatible. MaxIm DL is required for camera control when building a pointing model within our PWI4 software.

System Performance

Pointing Accuracy Better than 10 arcsecond RMS with PointXP Model
Pointing Precision

2 arcseconds at sidereal velocity

Tracking Accuracy

< 1 arcsecond over a 10 minute period at sidereal velocity

System Natural Frequency 10 Hz or greater
Field De-Rotator Accuracy < 3 microns of peak to peak error at 35mm off-axis over 1 hour of tracking (18 arc sec)

Primary Mirror

Radius of Curvature 6260 mm (246.46 inches)
Optical Diameter 1000 mm (39.4 inch)
Outer Diameter 1020 mm (40.157inch)
Core Diameter 360.7 mm (14.2 inches)
Material Fused Silica
Primary Thickness 85 mm (3.3 inches)
Primary Weight 122 lbs. (54% light weighted)
Cell 18-point

Secondary Mirror

Radius of curvature 5740 mm (226 inches)
Optical Diameter 450 mm (17.7 inches)
Material Fused Silica
Secondary Weight 27.2 lbs

Tertiary Mirror

Optical Major Diameter 404 mm (15.9 inches)
Optical Minor Diameter 286 mm (11.3 inches)
Material Fused Silica
M3 Thickness 65 mm (2.6 inches)

NOTE: All specifications and dimensions are subject to change.   

For warranty information please check our Standard Warranty Page

Included Items

Included Items

Heating elements for dew prevention The heating pads on the primary and secondary mirror require the 600195 Delta-T controller sold separately
OTA Cover To protect the primary mirror and inside of the optical tube
Flashdrive Contains software and instructions for collimation and spacing the primary to secondary mirror

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