Remote Observing Lab

Catalina Sky Survey’s Operation Center (aka Remote Observing Lab), located in the Lunar and Planetary Lab building was established to facilitate remote observation of NEOs using the 1-m (40 inch) Cassegrain reflector located atop Mt Lemmon. Unlike CSS’s survey telescopes, the 1-m is dedicated to following up recently discovered NEOs with new observations in effort to extend the orbital arcs for the objects to constrain and improve orbital determination. Observers also systematically target NEOs discovered over past years, again to refine their orbits for objects that will eventually receive permanent numbered status with the Minor Planet Center, indicating the highest level of orbital accuracy and precision. Operationally, remote observing with the 1-m is semi-automated. Objects targeted for follow-up observation are submitted into a custom queue manager which calculates and informs the telescope control system how to most efficiently move from object to object. The observer can primarily focus on validation of the targeted objects.

View of the the Remote Observing Lab control center.

Instrument Lab

CSS maintains an instrument and hardware lab with and benches for testing new hardware, troubleshooting and repair.