Zadko Telescope

Zadko Telescope specifications

The Zadko Telescope is situated in the state of Western Australia at longitude 115 deg 42’ 49’’ E, latitude 31 deg 21’ 24’’ S at an altitude of 50 m above sea level.

Current status of Zadko Telescope

The Zadko Telescope facility is being upgraded in 2012. The current observatory building is being replaced with a new automated observatory building optimized for rapid response imaging of transients. This is being facilitated via funding from the Department of Environment and Conservation - Perth Observatory. UWA has received ARC funding to build a new instrument and imaging package with spectroscopic capability. This work will be completed in 2012-2013.

Maximum slew speed:
The Zadko Telescope has a maximum slew speed of 3 degrees per second. It is an equatorial fork-mounted Cassegrain telescope with a primary mirror aperture of 1.007 m and a focal length of 4.0386 m. The telescope's optical design is a hybrid Ritchey-Chretien.
System focal ratio
The system focal ratio is f/4.0 at the focal plane, which is nominally 467.9 mm below the surface of the primary mirror.
Primary imaging detector:
The primary imaging detector is a low noise CCD camera, iKon-L with a DW436- BV back-illuminated sensor (Andor Technology PLC). This thermoelectrically cooled CCD chip has 2048 x 2048 square pixels each 13:5 micron wide, corresponding to an image FOV of 23 x 23 arcmin.
The Zadko Telescope is mounted on a vibration-isolated concrete pier. Mechanical vibrations transferred from the observatory floor to the mount do not exceed 1 arc second and are damped within 1 s.
The Zadko Telescope is housed in a 6.7 m diameter fiber-glass dome which can rotate at a rate of 3.7 degrees per second. The dome is equipped with two hydraulically-controlled shutters powered by battery. It is interfaced with the Zadko Telescope using the ASCOM (AStronomy Component Object Model) protocol and controlled via the French Robotic Observatory Control System installed in September 2009.
Observatory control:
Observatory control and initial processing of astronomical images is performed by the robotic telescope software system developed by TAROT.
The average seeing measurement of the full width at half maximum from images typically varies between 2.0 to 3.5 arc seconds at zenith and 3.5 to 6.0 arc seconds at an elevation of 45 degrees above the horizon.
The system is sensitive to R = 21 (no Moon) for a single 180-second exposure. A typical sensitivity for a 2 x 3-minute exposure is R = 20, for a source at 60 deg from the Moon. Unfiltered images are calibrated against USNO-B stars. The iKon-L sensor is currently used without filters, and nominally has a peak quantum efficiency of 95% near 5700 A.
The weather conditions on-site are conducive for optical astronomy with hot, dry summers and clear viewing skies for on average 83 days per year. The Bureau of Meteorology indicates a mean 103 days of rainfall per year with the majority of rainfall occurring between May and September.

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