Telescope Mounts Overview...

Severe Environment - All Weather Capability Mounts
Large Aperture, High Speed Telescope Mounts
Meter Class Equatorial Fork Mounts
Compact, High Speed Telescope Mounts
LIDAR Pedestal
LIDAR Pedestal
LIDAR Pedestals
LIDAR Pedestals

RC Optical Systems designs and manufactures several types of Telescope Mounts that are used to support the instrumentation platform requirements of our customers:

  1. Equatorial Fork Mounts - used exclusively in astronomical applications, and
  2. Elevation over Azimuth Mounts - used in a wide variety of applications ranging from Astronomy, to Low Earth Orbit Satellite and Orbital Debris trackers, to high speed high performance mounts used on Test Ranges.

RC Optical Systems Tracking MountsThe essential features of these systems do vary with the applications but center around the payload support requirements and performance requirements. Pointing and tracking must be high precision to track at sidereal rates while at the same time allowing faster slewing rates for acquisition and positioning.

The Elevation over Azimuth Mounts by comparison may be required to accelerate at 2-3 radians per second squared as well as achieve higher velocities to follow the flight of a projectile or project a laser onto a moving target.

As a manufacturer of Telescopes and Integrator of Instrumentation we design our Fork Mounts to satisfy the clearance issues such as swing through clearance, fork width, Coudé path optics, and payload weight. The Fork Mounts are a steel construction weldment modeled in SolidWorks and designed to meet the requirements for the payload. They are further customized with motor/drive selection and bearing size to achieve the target performance. We use parametric design principles allowing us to vary these parameters while maintaining a cost effective design.

Every aspect of our system is considered in the design of a mount to be operated in an outside environment. This includes optics and their mountings, imaging/cameras, support electronics, communication/protocols, and of course the mechanical components including the mount structure, motors, encoders, bearings, cleaning systems, fail safe brakes and safety systems, and cabling. Finite Element Analysis is a critical tool we use in evaluating design requirements as well as the selection of lightweight low coefficient of expansion materials.

RC Optical Systems Tracking MountsAnother critical component in our Telescope Mounts is our Controller which is the electronic motion control/feedback/safety system. RCOS designs and builds our own Controllers for all of our systems.

In addition to our Equatorial Fork Mounts and Elevation over Azimuth Mounts we offer German Equatorial Mounts from the two leading suppliers of these systems, Astro-Physics and Software Bisque. RCOS offers full integration services for our astronomy customers who would like to combine these mounts with their RCOS Telescopes. We will configure the complete system and integrate cameras, filter wheels, finder scope, and piers to ensure proper configuration and support of your RC Optical Systems Telescope. Please visit the links to learn more about these systems.