Jonathan Torigoe is entering his sophomore¬†year studying Mechanical Engineering at the¬†University of Hawaii at Manoa. After completing¬†his bachelor’s degree, he hopes either to attend¬†graduate school on the mainland or seek a¬†career in Hawaii, depending on the state of the¬†economy. When he’s not studying, Jonathan¬†likes to participate in sports like tennis and¬†soccer, play video games with friends, or¬†practice sketching and graphic arts.
Institute when accepted: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Project Title: Designing an Automated Calibration-Screen Cover for the Pan-STARRS PS1 Telescope
Project Site: Institute for Astronomy, Maui / Pan-STARRS Consortium
Mentor: Richard Harris

Project Abstract:

The Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) PS1 telescope¬†on the summit of Haleakala, Maui, uses a large, white screen mounted on the inside of¬†its dome for taking “dome flat” calibration images. This calibration screen must be covered¬†during nighttime observations made during bright phases of the lunar cycle, otherwise the¬†screen can degrade images by scattering moonlight into the PS1 camera. Unfortunately,¬†whenever telescope users wish to switch between observing and calibration, a minimum of two¬†people must travel to the telescope on the summit and manually mount or remove the existing¬†six-foot-wide cover while standing on precarious scaffolding. In order to prevent such situations,¬†an automated screen cover has been designed that is remotely operable by astronomers¬†in the PS1 control room at the Advanced Technology Research Center (ATRC) in Pukalani.¬†To parallel the tilt of the screen, the automated cover will be mounted and must operate at an¬†angle of 30¬į to the vertical. Guide rails will be used to assist the motor and constrain movement¬†of the cover. The cover controller will require integration into the current observatory¬†control system, OTIS, with its own command scripts. Finally, candidate materials for the cover¬†must be carefully tested, as the cover should ideally absorb light at all visible and near-infrared¬†wavelengths. After final approval, purchasing and construction of the cover will occur later this¬†year.