There is some specialized equipment for this project but perhaps not as much as you might think. The first, and largest, piece of equipment is the telescope. To this we connect a video camera in place of an eyepiece. The output of the camera is connected to a GPS timing box. The combined video and GPS data is then captured with a digital video recorder.
Guides for setting up the equipment below are available at recon.dozuki.com.
Here is a part list for a complete system:
|Telescope||Celestron CPC1100 XLT. This telescope has an 11″ (28 cm) diameter primary mirror and weighs about 65 lbs (29 kg).|
|Tripod||Mounting platform for telescope.|
|40mm eyepiece||wide field basic eyepiece|
|case||storage case with padding for telescope|
|Telrad||zero-power finder. This device projects a red bulls-eye pattern on the sky to let you do coarse location and centering of bright objects for the telescope.|
|Dew shield||A shield that is mounted on the front of the telescope that helps prevent dew on the telescope corrector plate during moist air conditions.|
|24 mm eyepiece||medium field eyepiece, this usually gives the best overall view in the telescope|
|Camera||MallinCAM B&W Special. This is a special video camera that we use for collecting the data.|
|Focal reducer||MFR-5 focal reducer that increases the field of view of the camera. This unit makes it easy to find and track our targets and improves the sensitivity of the video data. This item also doubles as a mounting flange that lets the camera mount in place of an eyepiece.|
|DVR, monitor||DVR=digital video recorder. It has a built-in monitor that is used to focus the telescope on the camera and lets you see the stars and asteroids through the telescope. Data are recorded to SD memory cards.|
|GPS timer||IOTA-VTI. VTI=video time inserter. This device superimposes time and date or location information on the video data coming from the camera so it can be recorded. We use this information to know where and where the data were taken.|