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

 
 
DFM Engineering installs a 24" Telescope
for the Memorial University - Grenfell Campus
memorial university grenfell college

Excitement at the Grenfell Physics Department was beginning to escalate as early as June of 2010!

The staff had just returned from a tour of the DFM Engineering facilities where their 24-inch telescope was being manufactured and tested.

While they toured DFM, they received a demonstration of the articulated relay eyepiece (ARE-125™), a feature that the Grenfell telescope would also have.

The amazing and award winning eyepiece design uses a series of relay lenses and folding mirrors to allow the eyepiece to swivel to any orientation and height.

university of victoriaThe ARE-125™ will accommodate disabled and wheelchair bound individuals and children during public observing nights at the university.

The Grenfell Physics department staff was also exposed to the optical and electro-mechanical drive systems designed and manufactured at DFM Engineering.

They were quite excited to see some of the basic components of their telescope mount sitting on our shelves ready for assembly.

Mark Kelley, our DFM software specialist, demonstrated the intuitive and versatile interface to the telescope and dome. The computer-controlled movement of the telescope will point to within 10 to 20 arc seconds; the dome is rotated automatically to allow the open slit to follow the sky's movement as the Earth rotates.

grenfell collegeWhen mid October 2010, rolled around the Grenfell staff was prepared for the delivery and installation of their 24-inch telescope and all on-site accommodations were ready.

Meanwhile, the telescope had been completely assembled and thoroughly tested at the DFM manufacturing headquarters, then disassembled, packed and shipped.

The telescope arrived at Grenfell!

Although the following day had been scheduled as "crane day", the DFM installation team decided to lift the telescope pieces and equipment into the dome that afternoon because of approaching bad weather.

grenfell collegeCraning began mid afternoon and continued smoothly into the dark despite intermittent drizzle. Another hour or so the next morning (in the light snow!), and the craning was complete.

grenfell collegeEach component, in turn, was unpacked and very carefully lowered by crane through the slit in the observatory dome.

Assembly by the DFM installation team was precise and meticulously completed.

The control system was set in place and testing began. First light images were achieved.

grenfell collegeWhile the telescope’s primary role will be as a teaching instrument for Grenfell’s astronomy students, both public outreach and scientific research will have major roles, as well.

grenfell college"We are in the process of getting approval for a full Bachelor of Science program in physics," says Dr. Doug Forbes, Memorial University; Grenfell Campus, "which will have a specialization in astronomy (and in subatomic physics)."

"The telescope will play a big part in that, especially in the 4th year research projects that students will be doing. "

"Perhaps the most exciting role would be a mentored observing program for high school students throughout the province! " said Dr. Forbes.

Grenfell currently has courses in stellar astronomy, the solar system, and galactic astronomy with plans for a new upper year observation and analysis course.

 

 

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