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

 
 
 
Westmont College awards DFM Engineering, Inc.
with CCT-24 Telescope order.
 
 

Westmont College of Santa Barbara, CA, has been planning a major expansion and remodel of the Carroll Observatory for many years.

The dedication of the original observatory was in 1957 and housed a 16.5" reflector telescope which was made and donated by George Carroll. The original telescope was equipped for spectroscopic and position measurements and the facility has been used primarily for night sky viewing through the eyepiece; however, the drive mechanism and optical components in the telescope made it inadequate for use in high-resolution CCD camera imaging.

Westmont will retire its original telescope and replace it with a 24 inch F/8 Ritchey-Chretien Cassegrain telescope manufactured and installed by DFM Engineering, Inc.

"You can expect quality optics, a superior telescope fork mount and a state of the art telescope control system (TCS) in all DFM telescopes," said Dr. Frank Melsheimer, president of DFM Engineering.

DFM Engineering technicians offer expertise in observatory and dome requirements as well as quality optics, telescope mounts, and state of the art telescope control systems. Complete installation and calibrating is also performed by the DFM experts.

The new DFM CCT-24" features more than twice the light-gathering power of the old telescope and nearly twice the resolving power. In the remodeled observatory, the new computer-controlled telescope will have a much more stable mount to take extended exposure imaging and photography. The telescope is currently under construction and is expected to be installed later this year.

"This telescope will be a magnet for astronomy enthusiasts around Santa Barbara and the South Coast," says Dr. Michael Sommermann, Professor of Physics. "It will become a focal point for astronomical research by faculty and students in areas such as the photometry of variable stars, minor planet observations and much more. Westmont College serves as one of the observing sites for the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.

Obtaining the research-grade telescope meets one of Westmont's funding priorities: improving the quality of science facilities and equipment. The arrival of the new instrument contributes to the evolution of the physics department into physics and astronomy program.

"We are ready to take another step forward in science education at Westmont," says President Stan D. Gaede. "Not only will the telescope provide a valuable resource for our general education curriculum, but it offers an opportunity to transform our very fine Physics Department into a physics and astronomy program."

Thanks to the $740,000 project, faculty and students will conduct astronomical research and the observatory will be open for monthly public viewing. The W. M. Keck Foundation awarded Westmont a $300,000 grant for the telescope last year. The James L. Stamps Foundation also gave $90,000 for the project. College officials have raised the remaining funds.

CCT-24 Telescope

Telescope Control System (TCS)