Previous     Index     Next

Page viewed 2506 times      -      Copyright © 2008

Zadko Telescope Specifications

The  following information can be found at The University Of Western Australia web site for the Zadko Telescope.


Maximum slew speed: The Zadko Telescope has a maximum slew speed of 3 degrees per second. That's 1 minute from horizon to horizon.  It is an equatorial fork-mounted Cassegrain telescope with a primary mirror aperture of 1.007 m and a focal length of 4.0386 m. The telescope's optical design is a hybrid Ritchey-Chretien.

Thanks to Myrtille, the French Astronomer from TAROT and the staff from the Gingin Observatory , Carroll, Donna, Graham, Grant and James for showing the AGWA group the Zadko Telescope at the Gingin Observatory.

The Zadko telescope, co-located with the Gravity Discovery Centre near Gingin, is part of a global network of telescopes linked to a NASA satellite ground station. It will search for  gamma ray bursts which herald the formation of black holes at the edge of the known universe. 

The Zadko's unique geographical position in Western Australia makes it a vital global facility for the study of the transient universe, allowing it to explore of a huge section of uncharted and previously unmonitored space. 

The Zadko will also be involved in joint international projects such as searching for potentially hazardous near-earth asteroids and tracing dangerous space junk while helping scientists learn about the formation of our own planet. The Zadko has already detected one of the biggest explosions in the universe. It occurred more than 11 billion years ago (before the Earth was formed), resulting in the death of a star. 

System focal ratio: The system focal ratio is f/4.0 at the focal plane, which 
is nominally 467.9 mm below the surface of the primary mirror.
Primary imaging detector: The primary imaging detector is a low noise CCD camera, iKon-L with a DW436- BV back-illuminated sensor (Andor Technology PLC). This thermoelectrically cooled CCD chip has 2048 x 2048 square pixels each 13:5 micron wide, corresponding to an image FOV of 23 x 23 arcmin.
Mount: The Zadko Telescope is mounted on a vibration-isolated concrete pier. Mechanical vibrations transferred from the observatory floor to the mount do not exceed 1 arc second and are damped within 1 s.
Dome: The Zadko Telescope is housed in a 6.7 m diameter fiber-glass dome which can rotate at a rate of 3.7 degrees per second. The dome is equipped with two hydraulically-controlled shutters powered by battery. It is interfaced with the Zadko Telescope using the ASCOM 
(AStronomy Component Object Model) protocol and controlled via the French Robotic Observatory Control System installed in September 2009.
Observatory control: Observatory control and initial processing of astronomical images is performed by the robotic telescope software system developed by TAROT.
Seeing: The average seeing measurement of the full width at half maximum from images typically varies between 2.0 to 3.5 arc seconds at zenith and 3.5 to 6.0 arc seconds at an elevation of 45 degrees above the horizon.
Sensitivity: The system is sensitive to R = 21 (no Moon) for a single 180-second exposure. A typical sensitivity for a 2 x 3-minute exposure is R = 20, for a source at 60 deg from the Moon. Unfiltered images are calibrated against USNO-B stars. The iKon-L sensor is currently used without filters, and nominally has a peak quantum efficiency of 95% near 5700 A.