Dome automation system

Dome Observatories

Pier-Tech Inc. has developed a dome observatory control system like no other. Our system enables the user to control the dome’s azimuth rotation, upper and lower shutter open and close functions and set cloud sensor feedback easily thru our color touch screen controller. It has built in firmware allowing sequences that open and close the shutter, rotate the dome in azimuth, open and close the lower shutter and park the telescope mount to the users preferred orientation. Our controller operates on 120 volt or 220 volt AC. It can also be powered by a solar panel. 

The controller keeps track of the dome’s azimuth position via a reflective photo eye sensor that looks at the dome’s azimuth drive rack tooth for accurate dome position feedback. The color touch screen controller also allows connection to The SkyX. Picking a target on the Sky X screen allows the slewing of our dome to that target and a repeating tracking adjustment of the dome every two minutes keeping the telescope inline with the upper shutter opening.. Our controller firmware is ASCOM compatible. Feedback to the controller is made possible by limit switches on both the lower and upper shutter, as well as a home proximity switch positioned on the azimuth rotation axis. The lower shutter opening direct drive mechanism is also controlled through our color touch screen. Our system is compatible with our motors that are variable frequency driven, allowing a slow ramp up and ramp down of the azimuth rotation motor as well as the upper shutter motor. This process allows longevity to the motors and also allows the user to set motor speeds for both the azimuth rotation and upper shutter movement. Below are pictures showing the various color screens that our controller will display. All the colored buttons can be simply touched to activate the sequence written on the button. Our system may be adaptable to other professional dome observatories. Please contact Pier-Tech Inc. for details.

Pier-Tech Dome slewing to positon with Software Bisque ME mount Video

Pier-Tech Dome slewing with Telescope via Sky X video 1

PierTech Dome slewing with Telescope via Sky X video2

PierTech Dome slewing with Telescope via Sky X video6

PierTech Dome slewing with Telescope via Sky X video3

PierTech Dome Touchscreen controller Sky X demo