To purchase an XT 10 MHz microcomputer and related equipment, to be used exclusively for programming current and ongoing research. Via its 0.4 meter Cegrain telescope, Braeside Observatory provides photometric data to professional astronomers, unable to obtain time at major observatories and/or unable to observe objects requiring long-term or continuous monitoring. Following the Cassegrain’s conversion to microcomputer control in 1985, Braeside’s programming requirements increased, due to more sophisticated instrument control and observing techniques, and their decision to provide more detailed data reduction. Dedicating the XT 10 MHz computer to programming allows use of Braeside’s recently purchased IBM-AT solely as a software development computer.
Grant Recipients in 1988
Grant Recipients $6,325
To purchase equipment (modem, hard drive, Lotus 1-2-3 and related analysis software) to support research in gamma-ray astronomy, specifically, the ongoing investigation and analysis of the response of Burst And Transient Source Experiment (“BATSE”) modules to non-axial gamma-ray sources. Preliminary test data indicate a radial dependence to the light collection efficiency of a detector applicant worked on at Marshall Space Flight Center this past summer. The detector was intended to fly on a Gamma-Ray Observatory (“GRO”) to be put into Earth orbit in March 1990. The BATSE, which was also developed at Marshall, is one of four GRO experiments to observe the gamma-ray universe.
To purchase a germanium photodiode and matched preamplifier, for installation into the Fabry-Perot interferometer system, which would be attached to the 0.6 meter telescope at the Mees Observatory, University of Rochester. Dr. Meisel proposed (i) to reopen his study of helium 10830 line in early type stars; (ii) initiate observation on previously unstudied northern hemisphere stars, including more BE Stars and beta Cephei stars, and G & K late stars; (iii) search for helium 10830 in several HII regions, including M8 and M17. In the case of early type stars, the requested equipment provides superior S/N characteristics, allowing line profiles to be obtained more efficiently and at the Nyquist spacing. For late-type stars, very high S/N profiles can be obtained for bright stars for comparison with models and the CII 1334 UV chromosphere line.
To purchase an Apple IIe microcomputer, and related equipment, to support ongoing photoelectric photometry of variable and suspected variable stars, using a Starlight-1 photon-counting stellar photometer on a Cassegrain telescope. The photometer would be interfaced with the Apple IIe to provide data acquisition, reduction and storage. The requested equipment was to be installed in a permanent annex/warm room constructed during the summer of 1988 by the College of Natural Science.
To purchase from the Minor Planet Center a year’s subscription of the Minor Planet Circulars on diskette and the Center’s forthcoming tape of all asteroid observations. Because of its ability to use all existing observations for differential correction of orbits with nine-planet perturbations, the Department is able to respond to requests from radio, submillimeter and CCD observers for very precise ephemerides of specific objects. Data used in these calculations were previously manually input into computer files. Purchase of diskettes and tape was intended not only to eliminate the need for manual input and increase the Department’s observing and measuring time, but also to allow it to take on some of this same work currently being done at the Minor Planet Center.