DFM Engineering, Inc.
1035 Delaware Ave. Unit D
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-678-8143
Fax: 303-772-9411

Clay Center Observatory
at Dexter and Southfield Schools

The Clay Center
for Science & Technology
Dexter and Southfield Schools

by Ron Dantowitz, Brookline MA USA

We selected a DFM Engineering telescope for our new observatory after careful consideration of many factors, not simply price.

We wanted a telescope with proven pointing and tracking performance with statistics that could be backed up by real, measured data.

We required a professional research tool with a low operating budget and minimal maintenance requirements. We also needed a system that was user-friendly, yet capable of completely robotic remote operation.

Proposed Clay Center Observatory

DFM was able to meet all of our current needs, and also remain flexible for accommodating future growth.

In addition to manufacturing our telescope and mount, DFM was also instrumental in the planning of our overall facility.

Dr. Melsheimer and his staff critically reviewed our observatory design, and provided solutions and drawings that assisted us in properly supporting the dome, pier, and telescope.

The DFM staff are experts in complete observatory design, and their assistance was invaluable.

As far as cost is concerned, it is true that there are less expensive telescopes. Yet, after months of "comparison shopping", the combination of DFM's proven performance, product reliability, overall quality and comprehensive engineering services made the decision to purchase a DFM telescope an easy one.

I wholeheartedly recommend that anyone planning an observatory seriously consider including DFM’s expertise and products in their facility.

Clay Center Project Notes:

The Clay Center Project includes an observatory, a multipurpose lab, a science lab, a computer lab, a dining hall and a lecture hall.

DFM Engineering has been requested to manufacture the following:

• robotic state-of-the-art 24-inch deep space reflector teaching telescope

• a co-mounted 7-inch planetary refractor telescope with astrocam

• a computer-controled, high-speed tracking system.

• DFM has been also requested to oversee the manufacture of a 24-foot diameter observatory dome that will accommodate large groups and classes.

Telescope Notes:

• The telescope will be a research grade 24" Classical Cassegrain with the excellent optics, superior pointing and tracking accuracy of the equatorial fork mount and the Telescope Control System (TCS) offered only by DFM.

Additionally, The Clay Center Project offers the new Articulated Relay Eyepiece (ARE-125™) from DFM Engineering that allows handicapped access to the eyepiece for most telescopes. This feature is accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).