New off-set guider: The new offset guiding system for the 91 cm
telescope has been completed. Tests on the mirror probe positioning, based
on a programmable high-precision controller (10 microns in the positioning
accuracy) have confirmed the project specifications. The system will be
definitely installed as soon as the CCD camera will be ready, however test for
autoguiding has been done.
Focal reducer and CCD camera: A focal reducer for the CCD camera was built with two filter wheels for UBVRI filters. The filter wheel control software is under test as separate task, and it is ready to be included in the image acquisition system software. The CCD camera, with a newly conceived Peltier cooling system, which has been delivered by the firm Hitech. The camera uses a 1024x1024 CCD with 24 micron pixels and adopt the new fast controller released by Sky Tech on project of detector research group of the Observatory. The camera will have a 10 arcmin field of view and is expected to reach a magnitude 18 with S/N=100 in 10 min.
Spectrograph fiber link: A new fiber link to feed the spectrograph using a 100 micron fiber with glued micro-lens on the input side has been implemented. The new system prepared as test for the new spectrograph has produced a significant improvement in the link efficiency and allowed a better resolution (R= 22.000) due to the smaller size of the fiber. The micro-lent set-up was kindly made by Gerardo Avila ate ESO. The mechanical coupling of the fiber to telescope focal plane has been improved making the connection more reliable.The improved image quality obtained with the proper allignement of mirrors leads to a significant increase in the fiber trasmittance.
Technical installations: The opening and closing system of the 91 cm telescope, similar to that of solar telescope dome in Catania has progressed. It willbe provided with a wire free power supply and tele-command. It is based on autonomous batteries fed by two solar cell, thus allowing to open or close the dome in any dome position without the repositioning near the plug-in power supply location.
The 91 cm telescope dome has been provided with an encoder that give a digital display of the dome window position on the observation control room. The next step will allow to include the information on the telescope control software, for the automatic allignement of the window with the telescope pointing direction.