Russ Mellon, President
Equinox Interscience, Inc.
Denver, Colorado. Equinox Interscience, Inc. announced today that it has completed the installation of a new astronomical telescope system for the University of Denver (DU) Student Astronomy Lab. The effort culminated with a crane lift of the new telescope to the roof of the DU Physics building in Denver, Colorado.
Designed and fabricated by Equinox Interscience, Inc. (EI) of Arvada, Colorado, the Student Astronomy Lab (SAL) System consists of a 30 inch reflector optical tube, a servo driven telescope mount, a beam director periscope to bring the image to the observation room below, and an observation interface that allows both direct observing and attachment of scientific instruments. This entire assembly is mounted on a support tower also designed by EI. In addition, EI designed and installed the roof top servo-driven roll-off shelter and rail system.
The DU requirements called for EI to design a number of unique elements for the SAL project including a support tower assembly tying the roof-top telescope into stable building attach points in the floor of the laboratory below, and a beam director periscope or "coude feed" to direct the "bundled" light beam captured by the 30 inch aperture system down to an observation interface in the laboratory. "We enjoy being able to use our experience and engineering expertise to meet these kinds of unique requirements for our customers", said EI President, Russ Mellon.
There are three possible modes of operation of the SAL telescope system. It can be operated directly on the roof, or in the laboratory environment below, it can either be coupled to a scientific instrument or used in Direct Observation Mode.
In Direct Observation Mode, the SAL is completely unique in being fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. "To our knowledge", said Mellon, "the DUSAL is the only fully ADA compliant Astronomical Observatory in the world".
The DUSAL Telescope Facility will operate initially with half-scale 16 inch optics. This allows the students to come up to speed in operating the system while EI specialists, in parallel, continue to work the finishing touches on the full-scale 30 inch optics at the EI Pinecliffe Glass Works. The Full-Scale optics set is on target for delivery later in the year.
Equinox Interscience has been a major player in the DUSAL project from the start, not only as prime contractor, but also as a major contributor to the effort. "Certainly, this project is of interest to EI in promoting our business and our technical capabilities", said Dan Scheld, EI VP of Engineering. "It is, however, extremely important to us that we promote a future that includes curiosity, interest, and affection for these sciences".
DUSAL Specifications: http://eisci.com/sal-du.html
EI Telescope Systems: http://eisci.com/telescopes.html
Equinox Home Page: http://eisci.com
DU Department of Physics and Astronomy: http://www.du.edu/physastron/