DIMMA: a completely unmanned Differential Image Motion Monitor. Antonia M. Varela Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain - PDF

DIMMA: a completely unmanned Differential Image Motion Monitor Antonia M. Varela Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain Luis Fernando Rodríguez Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife,

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DIMMA: a completely unmanned Differential Image Motion Monitor Antonia M. Varela Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain Luis Fernando Rodríguez Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain Casiana Muñoz-Tuñón Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain Miguel Sosa (2 INERZA, S.A.., Gran Canaria. Canary Islands. Spain ABSTRACT Both astronomical site selection and design for the next future large telescopes, plus the need to define flexible schedule programs as operational schemes for the telescopes at the observatory require systematic measurements of the night-seeing and meteorology. The first completely unmanned Differential Image Motion Monitor Automático (DIMMA) has been developed by the Sky Quality Group of the IAC and installed at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma, Spain) in summer DIMMA operation does not require man power for operation, it is powered by solar panels and linked via internet to the rest of the world, allowing to obtain and to supervise meteorological and seeing data from remote sites. Corresponding author address: Antonia M. Varela, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, C./Via Láctea, S/N, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain 1. Introduction The DIMMA system (Differential Image Motion Monitor Automático) is the natural step forward in the telescope-based equipments used for site evaluation in astrophysics. Using the experience and know-how of the DIMM systems (Vernin & Muñoz-Tuñón, 1992) regularly operated since 1995 at IAC by the Sky Quality Group, the DIMMA provides a comprehensive set of data without the need of any manned operation, in close linkage with the rest of the world using internet. The scientific base of DIMM is to separate two light beams coming from the same star but received in two separate zones of the primary mirror (telescope aperture). This task is accomplished covering completely the telescope aperture except for two small apertures. The light going through one of the apertures will be slightly deviated by a prism, thus obtaining two images of the same star in the focal plane. Seeing data can be computed from the variance of the distance between the two images, in both the horizontal and vertical axis, Sarazin and Roddier (1990); Vernin and Muñoz-Tuñón (1995). A number of system based on this scheme are presently installed in most astrophysical observatories, and are being routinely used for site surveys. The DIMMA system is inspired in the following features: Completely automatic. No operator needed. Using ideas and previous developments of earlier DIMMs. Completely outsourced, if possible. Use as many commercial off the shelf products as possible To be place in remote sites, with no infrastructure at all. Powered using only photovoltaic solar energy Designed to be copied about a dozen times Capable of storing all relevant data, including housekeeping, seeing and weather Featuring a built in software data quality checking module. Use a number of already available subsystems. 2. Status of the DIMMA DIMMA was developed by the firm INERZA, S.A. (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) under contract by IAC. In June 2006 has started the DIMMA installation at the ORM at Las Lajitas (see Figure 1). The DIMMA has been mounted on a 5m tower avoiding the surface layer effect on the seeing measurements. Next to the tower we have installed an Automatic Weather Station consisting on a Data Acquisition Unit (DAU) and a lattice tower equipped by standard meteorological sensors. The weather parameters will be stored to be use for climatic analysis and will be also provided on- line for telescope operation control. Interface is shown is Figure 2. The DIMMA area has been fenced in order to guarantee the security of the station. Fig. 1 DIMMA station at the ORM. The DIMMA is now under calibration and validation process and will be fully operative in spring 2007. Figure 2. DIMMA interface. There are two web cameras installed at the meteorological mast (see right image) and the other one inside the dome. The center window shows the seeing profiles along the night. Sensor and operation status information, observed stars, statistical seeing values, etc. are also included. 3. Main Characteristics These are the main characteristics of the DIMMA: Separate supported personnel tower. Automatic point with less than 1 arc minute accuracy. Automatic focusing with two independent systems. Automatic dome opening and closing. Automatic weather station integrated within the control system. Web cameras for remote monitoring Multi-sensor integration for robotic control Database storage of both scientific and housekeeping data Wireless linked to the Ethernet Powered by solar panels (7.7m 2 ) plus batteries (2x450 Ah). 4. Block Diagram In Figure 3 we represent the structure of the DIMMA system (instruments and communications, surveillance, control system and automatic weather station). Panels MONITOR ARQUIT DOME Batteries + Regulator Datalogger PC 1 Main Software CONTROL SYSTEM DOME ARQUIT DOME SENSORS GPS CLOCK IO BOARD Air Thermometer RS232 Dust BOARD Higrometer Alarm Power system Air Thermometer WEBCAMS HUB Earth Thermometer ROUTER DATA LOGGER Rain Detector SURVEILLANCE CONTROL Weathervane Barometer USB WIFI GPRS Mechanical support Higrometer FOCUS CCD MOUNT COMMUNICATIONS Anemometer Foundations Anchorage Sun Measure INSTRUMENTS IAC AUTONOMUS WEATHER STATION Fig. 3 Block Diagram showing all subsystems and their logical interconnections. Acknowledgments. This work has been carried out under the framework and funds of the European Project OPTICON as part of its specific objectives. REFERENCES Muñoz-Tuñón, C., A.M. Varela and L.F. Rodríguez, 2004: Monitor de Seeing Automático (DIMMA). I Reunión Nacional de Astronomía Robótica. Huelva, Spain Sarazin, M. and F. Roddier, 1990: A&A, 227,294 Vernin, J. and C. Muñoz-Tuñón, 1992: A&A, 257, 811 Vernin, J. and C. Muñoz-Tuñón, 1995: PASP, 107,
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