Ian Denzer was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. Ian graduated from Kealakehe High School and is currently attending Yale University planning on majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Ian particularly enjoys working on robotics and other mechatronic systems. In his free time at Yale, Ian is involved with Ultimate Frisbee, Yale Aerospace, Yale Intelligent Vehicles, and Y Pop-Up, a student group that creates pop-up restaurants for students.

Home Island: Big Island
Institution when accepted: Yale University

Akamai Project: Astrometric Camera Mount Design and Implementation

Project Site: The Canada France Hawaii Telescope

Mentors: Windell Jones

Project Abstract:

The Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) wishes to install a new astrometric camera on their telescope to reduce the target acquisition time for their spectroscopy instruments. The astrometric camera performs this operation by taking an image of the night sky right after the telescope moves to a new target. From this image, the stars are identified and the precise direction the astrometric camera is pointing is calculated. Using the telescope’s pointing model, the target-to-telescope offset is calculated and used to accurately place the telescope on the target. Due to the high accuracy required in the measurement, the astrometric camera must be rigidly fixed to the telescope. This project sought to design and fabricate a mount to support the astrometric camera so that it undergoes minimal deflection, due to the dynamic gravity vector, as the telescope moves across the sky. The astrometric camera assembly consists of an eight-inch optical tube assembly, crayford focuser, filter, focal reducer, and CCD camera. Properly supporting the astrometric camera required dividing the mount into two subsystems: a local mount, that supports the connection between the camera and optical tube, and the global mount, which attaches the complete assembly to the telescope. A trade study of several mount designs were completed using SolidWorks, and Finite Element Analysis was performed to ensure that the camera’s optical axis deflection was kept within the required 10 arc-seconds of its non-loaded location. The final design mounts the astrometric camera to one of the telescope tube trusses, minimizing obstruction by the dome slit during observation. Built into the design of the global mount is an innovative, easy-to-use micro adjustment system that will align the astrometric camera optical axis to within 0.05 degrees of the telescope optical axis. Additionally, by including a SLOAN green filter in the of the camera, the same images that are used to generate and astrometric solution can also be used for precise photometry measurements. All parts of the astrometric camera mount were built in-house and test fitted to the telescope. In the near future, CFHT will integrate the astrometric camera into its pointing acquisition process and perform the final testing on the telescope.