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Computer to control telescope

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Press Information Department of Education and Science Albemarle Building, Phillip, A.C.T. 2606 Telephone 817211

" 26/72

For Release

Embargo 5 p.m. Thursday,16 March 1972.

Computer To Control Telescope - ■

The Anglo-Australian Telescope Board today announced that a $178,746 .

Contract has been let to Datronics Systems Pty. Ltd., for the supply

and installation of a computer system for the new Siding Spring 150-inch

optical telescope being erected by the British and Australian Governments

at Ooonabarabran, N.S.W.. ,

The proposed installation is based upon the advanced Interdata Model 70

computer. Two separate computers will be used. One will be used for

controlling the telescope and the other for handling astronomical data.

Both computers will be connected together to allow them to be connected

to other computer equipment. The system will be installed in Canberra

for approximately 12 months when it will be then moved to the actual

telescope site at Coonabarabran. '

The telescope control computer will -

* Improve the setting and tracking accuracy . -

. of the telescope by calculating and making

• corrections for the small errors that arise

in its mechanical drive system, correcting for

• structural deformations in the telescope and

to compensate for variations in the atmosphere.


■ Controlling the slewing and setting of the

telescope so that it can quickly and efficiently

be set on to the required star.

■ Controlling the dome and windshield positions in

order to maintain alignment between the openings

in the dome and windshield and the direction

in which the telescope is pointing.

* .

Calculating the apparent star positions by

making the necessary astronomical corrections

to compensate for known small motions of

the stars in order to keep the telescope

properly aligned.

During the day both computers will be available for use by

astronomers for calculations on astronomical data, general

scientific computation and additional program development. "

2 > "

For further information:

16 March 1972


TELEPHONE :817?84;