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Mt. Wilson 100" Telescope Control System

During the 1990s, the Mt. Wilson Observatory's 100 inch Hooker telescope was updated with modern control mechanisms. These included telescope axis optical encoders, RA and Dec servo drive motors, and servo motor controllers. Several of the original telescope control mechanisms dating from the early 20th century, such as solenoids, DC motors and transmissions, have been retained and are integrated into the modern control system. Riptide Realtime developed all control system software, which included the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • All aspects of telescope control, including position decoding, hardware motion control, manual paddle and panel control, graphical user interface for telescope pointing and coordinate display, telescope mount model corrections
  • Ethernet connectivity to other observatory instruments, such as the ADOPT adaptive optics system
  • High-level language and compiler for Compumotor 6000 motion control
  • Riptide also developed several hardware control panels, including:

    • Manual tracking adjustment controls, Compumotor controller status and reset functions
    • Telescope external set/guide velocity input switching and monitoring, used for interfacing to the ADOPT and UnISIS adaptive optics systems' outer loop control signals

The 100 inch Hooker Telescope

Telescope Control Engineering GUI

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