Holcomb Observatory at Butler University
Holcomb Observatory at Butler University

ACE has retrofitted dozens of major observatories worldwide.

Key Benefits

  • Low cost compared to acquiring a new telescope
  • Full computer control of telescope and instrumentation
  • Optional automation of dome and weather station
  • Aluminizing and optical collimation services available

A sample of our clients includes:

Gettysburg College Observatory

M51 (Lawrence Marshall, Gettysburg College Observatory
The galaxy M51 imaged at Gettysburg College Observatory.

Professor Lawrence Marschall kindly provided these images taken with the f/11 Ealing 16-inch (0.4-m) reflector which was completely renovated by ACE in 1996. Equipment included new telescope motors, encoders, computers and dome automation. The focus mechanism was completely replaced. Recent additions include a finder-filter box that permits eyepiece viewing or CCD observations. Gettysburg College Observatory is one of the most productive and innovative undergraduate small telescope facilities.

SARA (Southeast Association for Research in Astronomy) Observatory

ACE instruments fitted to the Boller & Chivens SARA-KPNO telescope
ACE instruments fitted to the Boller & Chivens SARA-KPNO telescope.

Our first client exemplifies the close working relationship that we have with our customers.

ACE has been involved with the SARA Observatory from the beginning, starting with the relocation of the 0.9-m Boller & Chivens telescope across Kitt Peak.

SARA has a complete telescope control system, four port selector, autoguider stage, dome automation, video switcher and numerous other components designed or supplied by ACE. The observatory is under a maintenance agreement with ACE. We provide regular support through late evening and 24×7 emergency support and we maintain the entire observatory, not just the components that we provided. Imagine how we might be able to provide similar service to support your operations.

WIYN 0.9-m Observatory

Renovation of the Boller and Chivens telescope for WIYN
Renovation of the Boller and Chivens telescope for WIYN.

ACE has also renovated the other 0.9-m Boller & Chivens telescope on Kitt Peak which is now under the auspices of the WIYN Consortium. The telescope is also under a regular maintenance contract to keep it serviced and at the forefront of small telescope research. Renovations included modifications to the telescope secondary and a Filter-Shutter-Guider module. The double-stacked filter wheels each have 8 slots to hold 4-inch square filters, or a total of 14 filters to permit clear aperture observations. A high speed linear shutter custom designed and manufactured by ACE ensures uniform exposures down to 0.05 seconds across the large format CCD. Absolute encoders and ultra-high resolution motors ensure smooth tracking and excellent image quality. Custom engineering includes control of an observing platform and a video observation system.

We have renovated over a dozen similar telescopes of similar or greater complexity.