One of the most important features of the IPTEC Observatories is the proprietary and advanced control system. This system is a set of software and hardware gadget that cooperate to create an integrated observatory monitoring system. With this system, the dome and telescope operate synchronous and automatic. Monitoring situations and controlling equipment (such as lighting and temperature control systems), telescope accessories (focusers, etc.) and communicating with the weather station are other features of this intelligent system.
The telescope is a device with sensitive and precise parts and adjustments which displays images at high magnification. Therefore, it should be installed in a safe and vibration-free place. Due to the fact that in most observatories in the country, there is a lack of suitable structure for telescope installation, IPTEC group for the first time began designing a pier with unique features for telescope installation. This pier is portable and designed for damping vibrations imported from the environment. The alignment plate and the jaw coupling mechanism of the fastening make installation of the telescope fast and convenient. This pier is suitable for 10 to 16-inch telescopes and can be used in all observatories.
One of the important features of professional and semi-professional observatories, as well as robotic observatories, is their weather station for better monitoring of the observatory. IPTEC Observatories also have the capability to be customized for this feature. In addition to measuring temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and rain, which are common features of these stations, our weather station sends observatory parameters such as the overcast percent and the limiting magnitude of the sky to the observer. In heavy wind condition or rainy weather, the software automatically parks the observatory to prevent damage to its equipment.
This technology has been performed only in the large Professional observatories in the world till now. When the shutter is utterly open, the wind blowing into the dome can cause to entry the dust or disorganize the indoor temperature. Also, a strong and sudden wind blowing into the dome can put excessive force to the dome structure. On top of all this, the impact of the wind flow on the surface of the telescope mirror, which is generally a large area, causes drag force and vibration in the telescope and may disrupt the traction rate. These effects are more conspicuous when the dome and shutter have large dimensions. As soon as the weather station announces that the wind is blowing in the direction of the shutter, the windscreen will open in front of the shutter and block the wind flow. It works in such a way as not to disturb the telescope operation. Considering that the control system of the IPTEC Observatory is proprietorially designed by this team, and, of course, having experts in fluid mechanics, the company is able to implement this state-of-the-art technology in its Observatories in accordance with customer’s order by conducting detailed CFD analysis and related wind flow computations.
One of the most important parameters to consider in observatories having large telescope is the control and minimization of vibrations reached the main mirror of the telescope caused by the wind flow.
The confined wind flow in the dome creates small or large vortexes which lead to increase or decrease the local pressure around the telescope, which causes vibrations in the mirror of the telescope. These vibrations disturb the Imaging operation of the telescope.
In large observatories, the windscreen cannot overcome this problem individually. An effective solution to this problem is to establish special flow control windows to the walls of the dome. These windows are controlled by a sophisticated software system. The system constantly receives the velocity and the direction of the wind from the weather station, puts a number of windows in the open or closed position, and avoids turbulence to a large extent in the dome.
For the first time in the country, IPTEC group has indigenized the software and hardware needed for this system and is ready to provide this service for the customers.
The nature of the observatories requires that they are always at the highest altitude above the surrounding barriers. This exposes them to lightning strikes. Considering the importance and value of the observatories and their equipment, the IPTEC team has made it possible to install passive or active lightning rods for its domes.
The necessity of using this system is determined by an expert, and if it is necessary, provision, locating, and installation of this system will carry out by IPTEC.