UNSW Automated Patrol Telescope (APT)

Overview

Operated by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Automated Patrol Telescope (APT) is a wide-field CCD imaging telescope. The 0.5m telescope has a 5 degree field of view and can be operated remotely or in a fully automatic mode. The telescope has an optical design that more resembles that of a Schmidt camera, but has a 3-element lens to achieve a wide, corrected field of view.

The APT was developed by extensively modifying the optical, mechanical and electronic systems of a Baker-Nunn satellite tracking instrument. The Baker-Nunn telescope had been located at Woomera in South Australia during the 1960's, and afterward was stationed at Orroral Valley near Canberra. The camera was donated by the Smithsonian Institute to UNSW in 1982. Most of the mechanical, electrical and electronic modifications to the camera were performed in-house at UNSW, and the telescope was then relocated at its present site at Siding Spring, housed in a "roll-off" roof building that allows rapid access of any part of the sky.

The APT was refurbished by 1993 and research observations restarted in 1994. It has played a key role in the extra-solar planet search program of the UNSW.

Decommissioned

Related observatory

Updated:  25 November 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSAA Director/Page Contact:  Webmaster