Supports Direct Imaging and Spectroscophy
DFM Engineering has made many Guide-Acquire-Modules (GAMs) for Cassegrain telescopes. Usually these
GAMs include a X-Y stage for off axis guiding. Recently, there has been a demand for a different
GAM that incorporates off axis guiding from a remote location. DFM has defined this next generation
GAM and has trademarked the name
"Smart Auto Guider" and "SAG".
DFM Engineering, Inc. has delivered a version of the Smart Auto Guider which can simultaneously
support direct imaging and support a Cassegrain Spectrograph. Because of typical space restrictions
and instrument clearances, the spectrograph is mounted on the straight through position of the Smart
Auto Guider and the direct CCD imaging camera is fed at a folded Cassegrain position. The folding
mirror is mounted on a translating stage so it may be moved out of the light path for the spectrograph.
Automatic guiding is provided by an integrating CCD camera that automatically searches for a suitable
guide star and then begins auto guiding. The guide CCD camera focus automatically follows the telescope
The Smart Auto Guider supports a filter slide mechanism at the imaging port. Interchangeable
filter slides are available that can support different sized filters including a 8-position slide
for 50-mm diameter round filters, a 8-position slide for 2-inch diameter filters, a 8-position slide
for 2-inch square filters, and a 6-position slide for 2.5-inch square filters. These slides may be
easily manually interchanged.
The Smart Auto Guider also supports auto guiding off of the slit jaws of the spectrograph
and provides a calibration lamp optical feed for the spectrograph.
Commands for the Smart Auto Guider are included in the DFM Engineering, Inc. EXternal COMputer
(EXCOM) interface so the SAG may be commanded from the observatory control computer.