RC700 Ritchey-Chrétien Observatory System
PlaneWave Instruments brings a fully automated observatory class telescope to the market with the PW700-RC, a 0.7 meter Alt/Az telescope system with Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) optics. We have combined Ritchey-Chrétien optics with PlaneWave’s direct-drive alt/az mount technology to set a new standard for research-class observatory telescopes. The RC700 is a favorite among free-space optical communication clients.
PlaneWave Instruments brings a fully automated observatory class telescope to the market with the PW700-RC, a 0.7 meter Alt/Az telescope system with Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) optics. We have combined Ritchey-Chrétien optics with PlaneWave’s direct-drive alt/az mount technology to set a new standard for research-class observatory telescopes.
PlaneWave’s CDK astrographs have become the telescopes of choice for universities, industry, and astrophotographers around the world. Now PlaneWave offers the PW-RC series to meet the custom needs of the scientific community.
The PW700-RC in its native format (no field flattening lenses) uses only mirror with reflective coatings. This can be useful when making observations primarily on-axis and wide field imaging is not a concern.
- Ritchey-Chrétien optical design
- Dual Nasmyth focus, allowing simultaneous mounting of two instruments or easy switching between visual and imaging use
- Direct-drive motors on each axis for smooth, fast, and virtually silent movement of the telescope
- High-resolution encoders on each axis for precise positioning
- Zero backlash
- Zero periodic error
- PointXP mount modelling software
- Field de-rotator / rotational field framing
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 it takes to make a rigid alt/az mount is substantially less, leading to cost savings. Unlike German Equatorial mounts, there are no meridian flips to deal with. You can image from horizon to horizon continuously if desired. Alt/Az is more intuitive to use and no polar alignment is needed. Besides, it is the way the big boys do it!
Benefits of Nasmyth Focus
The Nasmyth Focus is along the altitude axis so there are virtually no balancing issue as you change out equipment. Eyepieces remain at a constant wheelchair-accessible height, greatly simplifying access to the telescope for public observatories. The rotating tertiary mirror allows you to switch from one Nasmyth port to the other in just seconds, allowing observers to easily transition between imaging and visual use.
Rotating Tertiary Mirror
The PW700-RC includes an integrated rotator for the tertiary mirror, with magnetic locks to position the mirror precisely for either Nasmyth focus position. The rotator can move from one port to the other in under 10 seconds. Tertiary Mirror Video
Direct drive motors and encoders
Direct Drive motors mean that there are no gears to cause 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 or have any backlash at all, but the mount will be able to counter against wind gusts. The direct drive motors can move the telescope at incredible speeds for tracking satellites or just to minimize target acquisition time.
|Aperture||700 mm (27.56 inch)|
|Focal Length||4540 mm|
|Central Obstruction||47% of the Primary Mirror Diameter|
|Back Focus||309 mm (12.2 inch) from Mounting Surface|
|Optical Tube||Dual truss structure with Nasmyth focus|
|Dimensions||93.73″ H x 43.25″ W x 39″ D|
|Focus Position||Nasmyth Focus|
|Fork Assembly||Single piece U shaped fork arm assembly for maximum stiffness|
|Azimuth Bearing||20 inch diameter thrust bearing|
|Altitude Bearing||2 x 8.5 inch OD ball bearings|
|Optical Tube||Dual truss structure with Nasmyth focus|
|Motor Control||Industrial grade Parker brushless motor control system and built in electronics|
|Azimuth Motor||Direct Drive 3 Phase Axial-Flux Torque Motor|
|Altitude Motor||Direct Drive 3 Phase Axial-Flux Torque Motor|
|Encoder – Azimuth and Altitude||10 inch disk built into the azimuth and altitude axes with stainless steel encoder tape on the circumference with reader yields 16 million counts per revolution of the telescope. This translates to about 0.08 arcsecond resolution.|
|Motor Torque||Approximately 35 ft-lbs|
|Drive Electronics||Capable of controlling up to 4 high speed encoders, limit switch inputs, homing switch inputs, controls two additional motors for accessories, two brake outputs and 16 digital and 2 analog inputs|
|Telescope Control Software||Incorporates PointXP mount modeling software by Dave Rowe All ASCOM compatible.|
|Pointing Accuracy||10 arcsecond RMS with PointXP Model|
2 arcseconds at sidereal velocity
< 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)|
|Radius of Curvature||4115mm|
|Optical Diameter||700 mm (27.56 inch)|
|Outer Diameter||714.38 mm (28.125 inch)|
|Core Diameter||203mm (8 inch)|
|Edge Thickness||2.25 inch|
|Radius of curvature||2961 mm|
|Optical Diameter||312.4mm (12.3 inch)|
|Outer Diameter||317.5mm (12.5 inch)|
|Cell||3 point RTV|
|Optical Major Diameter||152.4 mm|
NOTE: All specifications and dimensions are subject to change.
For warranty information please check our Standard Warranty Page
|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|
|EFA Kit and IRF90||Port one includes an IRF90 and EFA kit for focusing and derotating within PWI2 software and also relaying mirror temperature data back to the control computer.|
|Feathertouch Focuser and Adapter||Used for visual observing through Port 2 with a user supplied eyepiece.|