Inventor of the Clamshell Astronomical Observatory
Astro Haven has just introduced new models of the 12.5-foot and 16-foot class domes.
AHE We has just introduced new models of the 12.5-foot and 16-foot class domes. The basic belt driven models are called the 12.5 Dash1 and the 16 Dash1. They incorporate the same advanced design and fabrication of our 18-ft model. Note that the 16 Dash1 is also a 5-shutter design. These belt driven models together with our 18-ft model are also available with servo motors/drives that allow precise positioning of the shutters and a more elaborate remote interface. These models are the 12.5 Dash2, 16 Dash2, and 18 Dash2.
These new 12.5 and 16-ft domes are now offered with independently actuated servo driven shutters and have the designation “X”. The X-domes can be configured in a variety of ways and these configurations have a numerical designation. X1 is a dome with the base on one side replaced with a shutter and X2 is a dome with the base on both sides replaced by shutters. See the “X” domes section for more discussion.
XR-Domes:We are also delivering domes with independent shutters that also rotate. These highly capable domes have the designation “XR”. Each shutter on an X dome operates independent of any other shutter using servo driven linear actuators. Each shutter is controlled by a pair of actuators slaved together by their respective servo drives. One of these servo drives incorporates the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) that is the controller for the system. For an XR dome an extra pair of servo drives control a pair of servo motors that rotate the dome using a sprocket and chain that is inside the dome. The dome rotates on a ring and several “Trucks” secure the dome to the ring both laterally and vertically so it can resist seismic, lift, and tilt-over loads.
Rotation is at a blistering 30 degrees per second as seen in the video below. This video shows a single shutter moving from one side of the dome to the opposite side while the dome is rotating. Like the X domes the shutters can put positioned anywhere for air flow control or parasol including straight up for transportation down the road. The dome is delivered on an 8-foot skid with the drive units installed and the dome ready for immediate placement on the rotation ring. Like other AHE products you are up and running in a matter of hours.
The user interface on the Human Machine Interface (HMI) unit for the XR domes has the same friendly human factors as the X domes with SetUp screens a different color to avoid inadvertent ungeared movement. Of course, the XR has a rotation page that permits tracking and commanded rotation to a specific azimuth. Like the X domes, there is a MODBUS over TCPIP user interface that replicates the HMI on a remote PC as well as a MODBUS driver that allows external tracking commands, like azimuth from the tracking mount, to be communicated to the PLC in the dome.