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RC700 (f/12) Ritchey-Chrétien Observatory System

SKU# 700126Q

Price: $210,000.00

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To fulfill the needs of demanding research, commercial, and defense applications, the RC700 features:

  • 0.7-meter f/12 (8,410mm focal length) Ritchey-Chrétien optical design.
  • Optimized central obstruction < 30 % for improved image contrast and optical fiber coupling efficiency.
  • Dual Nasmyth focus ports, each capable of holding over 300 lbs, paired with a PlaneWave Interface 4 (PWI4) software controllable tertiary mirror for fast changes between multiple instrumentation packages.
  • Direct-drive motors on each axis providing up to 50 degrees/second of smooth, fast, and virtually silent slewing of the telescope with zero backlash and zero periodic error.
  • On-axis 26-bit absolute encoders coupled to each axis for precise pointing and stable LEO satellite tracking.
  • Optional GPS/PTP encoder synchronization for precise time-stamping and carbon fiber hard-shroud for stray light mitigation.
  • Space-frame design with optional Coudé Path.
  • PointXP mount modelling software
  • Direct drive field derotator and secondary mirror focusing for increased instrumentation backfocus distance.
  • *Optional piggyback DeltaRho 350 OTA and remote adjustable saddle sold separately*

Description

PlaneWave’s RC700 was designed to fulfill the needs of demanding research, commercial, and defense applications. With direct drive motors on each axis, a small central obstruction (< 30 %), and optional GPS/PTP encoder synchronization and carbon fiber hard-shroud, the RC700 is an ideal platform for laser communication and satellite laser ranging.

RC700 Features

  • 0.7-meter f/12 Ritchey-Chrétien optical design with an optimized central obstruction less than 30 % for improved image contrast and optical fiber coupling efficiency.
  • Dual Nasmyth focus ports, each capable of holding over 300 lbs, paired with a PlaneWave Interface 4 (PWI4) software controllable tertiary mirror for fast changes between multiple instrumentation packages.
  • Direct-drive motors on each axis providing up to 50 degrees/second of smooth, fast, and virtually silent slewing of the telescope with zero backlash and zero periodic error.
  • On-axis 26-bit absolute encoders coupled to each axis for precise pointing and stable LEO satellite tracking.
  • Optional GPS/PTP encoder synchronization for precise time-stamping and carbon fiber hard-shroud for stray light mitigation.
  • Space-frame design with optional Coudé Path.
  • PointXP mount modelling software
  • Direct drive field derotator and secondary mirror focusing for increased instrumentation backfocus distance.

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.

Benefits of Nasmyth Foci

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 RC700 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 26-bit absolute 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 up to 50 degrees per second for tracking satellites, or just to minimize target acquisition time.

 

Specifications

Specifications

Optical System

Optical DesignRitchey-Chrétien
Aperture700 mm (27.56 inch)
Focal Length8,410 mm
Focal ratio12
Central Obstruction< 30 % of the primary mirror diameter
Back Focus317 mm (12.48 inch) from instrument mounting surface
Weight2,500 lbs
Optical TubeDual truss structure with Nasmyth focus
Dimensions92.25″ H x 52″ W x 36″ D
Focus PositionNasmyth Focus

Mechanical Structure

Fork AssemblySpace-frame for maximum stiffness
Optical TubeDual truss structure with Nasmyth focus

Motion Control

Motor ControlIndustrial grade Elmo brushless motor control system and built in electronics
Azimuth MotorDirect drive 3 phase axial-flux torque motor
Altitude MotorDirect drive 3 phase axial-flux torque motor
Encoder – Azimuth and Altitude255 mm stainless steel encoder ring with read-head yields 67.1 million counts per revolution of the telescope. This translates to about 0.019 arc-second resolution.
Motor TorqueApproximately 170 ft-lbs continuous (Azimuth motor)
Drive ElectronicsElmo Motion Control Systems drives
Telescope Control SoftwarePlaneWave 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.

System Performance

Pointing Accuracy (all-sky RMS)10 arcsecond RMS with PointXP Model
Pointing Precision

2 arcseconds at sidereal velocity

Open Loop Tracking Accuracy

< 0.2 arcseconds over a 10 seconds period at sidereal velocity

Azimuth Range of Motion660 degrees
Altitude Range of Motion10 – 90 degrees

Primary Mirror

MaterialFused Silica

Secondary Mirror

MaterialFused Silica

Tertiary Mirror

MaterialFused Silica

NOTE: All specifications and dimensions are subject to change.  

For warranty information please check our Standard Warranty Page

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