of Southern Idaho (CSI) in Twin Falls, has been planning a major expansion of the Herrett
Center for Arts and Science for many years. The Herrett Center purpose is to collect, preserve,
interpret, and exhibit artifacts and natural history specimens with an emphasis on the prehistoric
American Continent. The Herrett Center also supports the Faulkner
Planetarium and several art galleries.
The Faulkner Planetarium has
144 seats and uses a Digistar Planetarium projector. Presently, they have several small telescopes and
hold open house star parties at the Center and occasionally off campus. They have planned the addition
of a major observatory and they want to provide true eyepiece access to the telescope for people in wheel
chairs. They also plan to provide remote access to the telescope over the Internet.
At the early planning stages, they did not believe they would have the funding to be able to buy a telescope
of the quality and performance of those provided by DFM Engineering.
Over the years of planning and fund raising, the cost of the telescope
they were considering from another vendor escalated until it was the same price as the DFM telescope.
At this point they contacted DFM and discussed their need for true access to the eyepiece for people
in wheelchairs. This discussion resulted in DFM Engineering designing and building the Model
ARE-125 Handicapped Optical Relay Assembly that allows convenient eyepiece access. This assembly
was demonstrated at the 2003 American
Astronomical Society winter meeting in Seattle.
The fund raising successfully raised sufficient money to place an order with DFM for a 24-inch
telescope including a number of additional features including: Remote Controlled Tube Cover, Remote
Internet Access Software, GPS time system, the ARE-125 Handicapped
Optical Relay Assembly, 8-Position Filter Wheel with filters,
local and remote displays and keyboards, and mounting rings for a customer furnished Maksutov auxiliary
DFM Engineering personnel are working with the observatory architects and engineers to design the observatory,
pier, control room, and handicapped access. DFM has worked with architects on many observatories and has
worked up an extensive set of notes to assist the proper design
of observatories. DFM provides more than just a telescope, we provide advice based upon decades of
experience, design services, hardware, and software for the complete observatory.