Both 26-meter radio telescopes point and track at sidereal or user-defined rates for astronomical observations. The control system was built by DFM Engineering, Inc. The 26m radio telescopes use position encoders with 18-bit resolution and the addition of dual 15 HP computer controlled synchro motors on each axis. PARI has conducted pointing model calibrations on the 26 East radio telescope to ensure pointing accuracy to within a quarter of a beam-width at 2.3 GHz.
The receiver was built by a team led by Dr. Brian Dennison (UNC-Asheville). The team included Dr. David Moffett (Furman University) and more than a dozen undergraduate students over a five-year period.
PARI’s 12-meter radio telescope is a precision surface antenna mounted on an elevation over azimuth configuration. The telescope is controlled and signals transmitted via fiber optics to and from the Cline Administration Building.
The prime focus feed is currently a 1420 MHz receiver with a down-converter and SpectraCyber spectrometer.
PARI’s 4.6m radio telescope is dedicated to an educational program that allows high school teachers and students to use this instrument remotely from the classroom.
The iconic “Smiley” face has greeted thousands of students from classrooms as far away as Australia. Smiley is used to introduce students (and many teachers) to radio astronomy.
The antenna is currently configured for 21 cm (1.42 GHz) neutral hydrogen. Using Smiley to collect data at this frequency, several online labs allow students to map radio sources, study the Doppler Effect and detect radio waves from the galaxy. This hands-on approach to learning has proven to be highly effective and popular among high school students, and Smiley has also been a useful tool for demonstrating remote control and interface software to college students.
0.4 Meter Research Grade Optical Telescope West Optical Observatory
Recent image taken with an Apogee Alta E42 2048×2048 CCD camera through the 0.4m telescope. The telescope is a 0.4m f/8 RC, scale = 64.5 arcsec/mm.
The camera is an Apogee Alta E42 2048×2048 CCD. The CCD chip has 13.5 micron x 13.5 micron pixels and imaging area of 27.6 mm x 27.6 mm. With this imaging area and the scale of the telescope, the angular field of view is 29.7 arcmin x 297.7 arcmin. The telescope scale on the chip is 0.870 arcsec/pixel. There is no telecompressor. Filter set = Bessell UBVRI and a clear filter. A 25 second exposures at V on a 9th magnitude star will saturate the image.