PrimaLuceLab team installed the BINO-SSA Observatory Station in Pampilhosa da Serra Space Observatory (PASO) in Portugal! BINO-SSA is the turn-key and affordable solution for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) activities like the study of space debris and its classification. The version designed for Pampilhosa da Serra Space Observatory uses two Officina Stellare Veloce RH300 12″ f/3 telescopes with ESATTO 3,5″ LP focusers and SBIG Aluma AC4040 cooled cameras, with a ScopeDome Clamshell 3M dome. In this article you can watch the installation video and read details about the telescope design and main features.
Pampilhosa da Serra Space Observatory is located in central Portugal and it has been developing activities in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST). In 2019 we installed our Radio2Space SPIDER 500A radio telescope with 5 meter diameter parabolic antenna for radio astronomy activities. Now Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) requested us to design a wide field optical system able to simultaneously record pictures also in 2 contiguous fields. For this application, PrimaLuceLab designers developed the BINO-SSA with dual telescope system with high load capacity and precision focusers, monochrome cooled cameras and motorized filter wheels, fast moving mount and fully opening dome.
Since, in order to record informations on the orbital debris environment in LEO and MEO orbit, the telescope may quickly move in different areas of the sky, BINO-SSA Observatory Station uses a 3 meter diameter dome that is able to fully open the upper section when the telescope is operated, this way providing the complete view of the sky. The telescope has been installed on a special high load capacity pier that is fixed on the concrete base that provides support to the entire structure.
The optical system is based on two Officina Stellare Veloce RH300 12″ f3 telescopes provided with ESATTO 3,5″ LP low profile focusers to bring to the correct backfocus distance the SBIG Aluma AC4040 mono cameras provided with motorized filter wheels. One of the 2 telescopes has a special clamping mechanism that allow to set an offset angle in respect to the first one. This way, starting from 2.3°x2.3° FoV of the single telescope, when the BINO-SSA Observatory Station is set in survey mode, the 2 telescopes provide a 4°x2.3° FoV (with a small portion of the image needed for overlapping).
The BINO-SSA Observatory Station is remotely controlled and powered with the EAGLE advanced control unit: all the devices are connected and powered through the EAGLE with short cables, this way enabling an easier remote control. The entire BINO-SSA Observatory Station is connected to a nearby control room (with WiFi and Ethernet connection) where the operator can operate the system. Thanks to the EAGLE, the BINO-SSA Observatory Station installed in Pampilhosa da Serra Space Observatory can be controlled also through the internet, making the BINO-SSA Observatory Station a great research instrument for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) activities.