Hi folks - this blog should shed some light on our initial plan to build a remotely accessible amateur observatory. Currently we're internally funding £160 a month and we expect this to grow to about £300 inside the next year - the rest we're depending on support from you, our Patrons!
We hope to end up with two telescopes set up - a Celestron 6SE with a Canon DSLR, providing live video observing, and a Skywatcher 200PDS with autoguiding and cooled, dedicated astronomy CMOS camera.
The current plan is to build as much autonomy as we can into the telescope very early on - staring with an Intel NUC computer and arduino controlled dew heater system. After this remote PC and dew monitoring is set up with the 6SE mounted on our final astrophotography mount, we will invest in an autoguiding telescope, sensitive CMOS camera for planetary, small deep sky objects, and guiding, and finally the Skywatcher 200PDS.
At this point the astrophotography setup can be considered operational with a DSLR and being focused manually prior to a session. As time goes on after this we will invest in a filter set for LRGB mono imaging, an autofocusing system that can be remotely controlled, and finally a prime imaging camera in the ASI1600MM-Pro.
We will then replace the Celestron 6SE on it's original mount with the DSLR and set it up for live observing! After this, we will look to acquire a small dome or other similar shelter to facilitate a true semi-permanent setup and enable much more observing time in short periods of clear skies.
We will post an update on the progress of the observatory every month - to those who subscribe to the Launch Support tier or higher!