Lab Based Artificial Star Source

The lab based artificial star source can be found in the WHT detector lab dark room. The purpose of the artificial star is to provide a source for testing autoguiders in a controlled environment.
The star itself is a wall mounted diode that can be powered either by a bench supply or battery, there are in fact two one bright and one faint with a switch to choose between them. The autoguider head to be tested is mounted on a purpose built support attached to the bench, the support has an integrated shutter and lens. The shutter must be held open and the lens set to f22 for a sharp image. The autoguider head should then be connected to a controller as if it were on the telescope, dry air is available to flush the head window. The controller fibre and RS232 connections must then be connected to the control room via the links provided, there are wall mounted links to the control room for fibre and RS232 in the CCD lab by the side of the porthole to the darkroom. For testing, the fibre should be linked through to the autoguider fox rack and the RS232 connection to the cass port on the VME, the autoguider can then be tested as if it were the CASS autoguider. Don't forget to restore the system for observing after testing !

Dummy Star on autoguider display  Autoguider head on mount from rear Autoguider head mount from front

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