We run a Comet and Asteroid Search Program named PIKA after a Slovene acronym.
Since March 2003, the program is being operated on a new
60-cm, f/3.3 Cichocki telescope
equipped with a Finger Lake 1k x 1k CCD detector. Telescope project funding has been covered in part by
the Planetary Society Shoemaker Grant 2000.
The 60-cm Deltagraph is custom made, advanced technology, wide-field
imaging system, designed for sky survey applications. All functions
(pointing, imaging, focusing, filters exchange) are controlled by a
single computer program written by Bojan Dintinjana. The system (operating in Linux) may work unattended from dusk to
dawn. It may be operated either locally or remotely over the internet.
The goal of the project is to scan larger areas of sky for several times on each clear night and
search them for the presence of any transient objects. An observing schedule,
containing field coordinates, exposure time and number of scans is prepared for each night in advance
and sent to the main computer. The image acquisition, processing and searching for new objects is fully
automated. Images are analyzed with the
software, written by Jure Skvarc. At the end of observing session, the suspect objects are checked.
Information about our old configuration is available here .