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

Make-A-Wish Foundation and Smithsonian Institution team up and fulfill a dream with DFM's ARE-125™

The Articulated Relay Eyepiece™ (ARE-125™) received rave reviews again this summer! The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) at the Smithsonian Institution featured a special program at the Public Observatory for a family with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

NASM is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires access to public facilities for the handicapped.

Matthew, confined to a wheelchair, had a unique dream to experience our beautiful universe first hand. Printed photographs and slide shows of our solar system dazzled his imagination.

But the most fascinating excursion for him would be to actually slide through space and embrace the breathtaking heavens for the first time, looking through the lens of a powerful, research grade telescope.

Matthew wanted to see the awesome wonders for himself.

Normally, this would be considered next to impossible for him since the eyepiece of a large telescope in a public observatory is often too high for a seated person to reach.

Getting a wheelchair bound person to the eyepiece of a telescope has historically been very difficult and expensive.


The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) has outfitted their Boller & Chivens telescope in the Public Observatory Project with an Articulated Relay Eyepiece™ (ARE-125) created and manufactured by DFM Engineering.

The ARE-125™ uses a series of relay lenses and folding mirrors to reposition the telescope focal plane a considerable distance from the tail piece of the telescope. Mechanical and optical swivel joints allow it to pivot freely in 3 axes.

The photos below feature Mark Kelley of DFM Engineering demonstrating the limitless variety of viewing angles for persons with disabilities or those confined to a wheelchair.

articulated relay eyepiece for handicapped telescope viewing   articulated relay eyepiece for americans with disabilities

The ARE-125™ now provides handicapped access to the eyepiece of the telescope.

So, Matthew, sitting in his wheel chair at the Smithsonian Institution's Public Observatory telescope simply picked up the eyepiece and brought it to his eye for convenient viewing regardless of the telescope position. He was able to explore space in real time for the very first time!

“Matthew was in a wheel chair and had a great time using the telescope - thanks for creating such a great device to make the telescopes accessible!” said Katie Moore, Public Observatory Project Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution.

Smithsonian Institution, Public Observatory Project

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Americans With Disabilities Act

Articulated Relay Eyepiece™ (ARE-125™)

ARE-125™ product announcement