USGS  : Lunar Calibration, ROLO - Robotic Lunar Observatory : ROLO Facility Telescope
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ROLO Image Gallery

Images of the ROLO Facility at the Flagstaff Science Center. Click on an image to see a larger version.

01 Flagstaff Science Center.jpg

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The Flagstaff Science Center is located on McMillan Mesa (alt. 7025ft) in Flagstaff, Arizona. Seen in the background are the San Francisco peaks, which are the highest points in Arizona.

02 ROLO Dome.jpg

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Front view of the ROLO dome. The top half of the dome (painted black) rolls back to allow access to the entire night sky. Visible inside is the concrete pier which holds the telescope mount. The interior of the dome is fitted with a Faraday cage and substantial grounding for lightning protection of the electronics.

03 Dome Open.jpg

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The top half of the dome has been rolled back. The telescopes must be pointed vertically to clear the dome door.

04 Observatory and Computers.jpg

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View from inside the warm room. The telescope mount control system is seen at right, the opened observatory dome is seen outside.

05 Realtime DOS Computers.jpg

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A view of the ROLO realtime control systems. These are Intel 486 computers running DOS. Their control functions are, top left: telescope mount; bottom left: GPIB for FEL lamp power supply; center left: VNIR CCD camera; center right: master system for observing sequence, camera hardware settings, and telescope mount; far right: SWIR HgCdTe camera. The master computer communicates with the camera and telescope mount computers using a low-level protocol through the parallel I/O ports.

06 Archive Computer.jpg

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Pentium-Pro running Linux. At the end of an observing night, the realtime computers are booted into Linux, and all image and observation ancillary data are transferred to this system. Here the images are assembled into an ISIS archive format and written to CD-ROM media.

07 Telescope.jpg

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The ROLO telescopes zenith-pointed at dusk.

08 Pre-Amps and AD Converter.jpg

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The SWIR camera front-end electronics are mounted on the side of the dewar. The box on the left houses the pre-amplifiers; the copper shielded cable on top leads into the dewar to the HgCdTe array. The box on the right houses the four analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, one for each 128x128 pixel quadrant of the detector. A multiplexing process allows signal clamping and digitizing from one quadrant while another is being read into video memory.

09 ND Filter Pneumatic Cylinder.jpg

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Both the Moon and stars are observed by ROLO. To accommodate the brightness difference, a neutral density filter is inserted in the optical path when imaging the Moon. This view shows the pneumatic actuator for the ND filter, on top of the carbon fiber telescope tube and in front of the SWIR camera dewar (gold color).

10 Telescope Filter Wheel Steppers.jpg

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A close-up of the VNIR filter wheel housing. At bottom center is one of the two stepping motors with attached shaft encoder. The CCD is housed in the aluminum box toward the upper left. This assembly is mounted on a micrometer translation stage, used for focusing.

11 Telescope Close Up.jpg

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The twin ROLO telescopes are 20 cm (8 inch) diameter Ritchey-Chretien Cassegrain optical design. The SWIR camera is on top, VNIR on bottom. The black band between them is the ring of the 16-inch DFM mount on which the two telescopes are mounted. The aluminum box behind the VNIR telescope tube holds two filter wheels.

12 Telescope Ready for Observation.jpg

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Simulation of the ROLO telescopes oriented for observing (this picture was taken at dusk, prior to useful observing conditions).

13 Telescope and Moon.jpg

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