With the current weather I have not been able to set up the repaired M25C for any imaging and I am aware of the days ticking past with nothing new to add 🙁 Still, this gives me a little time to sit down and plan the next phase of the mini-WASP array. Unfortunately the mini-WASP will not be up and running for this winter, looks more likely that this will now be a winter 2011 first light. I didn’t get the decking and concrete pillar base in ready for the observatory and I think it will now be spring next year before I get that part done, so this winter it will be Hyperstar III imaging only (which is no bad thing). Got a few nice projects noted on the whiteboard – now I just need the weather to play ball. Having said that, it is this time of the year that I have had a 3-month imaging break due to the weather on more than one occasion!
Returning to the mini-WASP project – this will need to go into its own observatory dome so that I can run both the Hyperstar III and mini-WASP systems at the same time. The first phase of the mini-WASP will use 2 x Sky 90 scopes together with two of the new Starlight Xpress M26C one-shot colour cameras. A Megrez 80 and SX guide camera will occupy one slot of the mini-WASP array for the guiding.
In phase II (unknown date!) two further Sky 90s and M26C cameras will be added to the two remaining mini-WASP ports and the Megrez removed altogether. One of the Sky 90s will have an OAG (SX) for guiding. So the final mini-WASP system will be a four Sky 90, four M26C system giving a field of view of 6 x 4 degrees (that takes into account the frame overlap) a sampling of 3 arc seconds per pixel and 40 megapixels of data per sub download (36 megapixels of non-overlapped data). I think the final system will produce some quite impressive images 🙂