Going mobile with mounted astro gears
No room for compromises
Astrophotography requires the highest quality standards for all components of the observatory gears. The specifications for every optical, mechanical and electronical part are crucial for being able to capture high-resolution images of celestial objects. There is no room for compromises, unless you are considering less powerful start-up kits, of course.
The equipment used by most amateurs will typically have a weight in the range of 5-10 kg, more advanced gear up to 30-40 kg. The whole assembly can then be stored at home and set up practically speaking anywhere outside where the night skies are as dark as possible.
Making heavy and powerful gear worth-while for urban enthusiasts.
But beyond that weight limit, you will very soon need an observatory dome where the whole equipment can be assembled and stored permanently. The gear is far too heavy to move, assemble, calibrate and disassemble every time you’re going to use it. It imposes also a significant risk of damaging the sensitive and precisely manufactured parts.
The most important premise for high-resolution astrophotography is however not the astronomical equipment - it’s good seeing conditions!
This is far more fundamental than the type of gear you use. Good seeing requires in turn dark skies, which is where a mobile solution comes in. It makes it worth-while to invest in heavier equipment despite living in urban areas. There is no point in acquiring very powerful gear and an observatory dome in a location where the night sky is illuminated from city lights and the atmosphere is polluted and less transparent due to emissions from traffic, industry and housing.
A mobile observatory for powerful and heavy equipment will therefore be an ideal solution for astronomy enthusiasts who lack the possibility of having a permanent dome in a remote location.
There have been numerous trials to make such mobile observatories, for obvious reasons. But it must be a truly mobile observatory – not only a truck or a trailer for transport of astronomical equipment. The fully assembled observatory gear must be just as ready-to-observe as the case is with a permanent dome. And this capability has failed in all trials, so far.
The short animations below should give some insight on how the trailer domes operate in the two main modes Transport and Observation:
The trailer domes represent a truly ready-to-observe solution and are capable of handling astro gear up to 140 kg. The precious gear is protected from jolts, shocks and vibrations during transport, while the tripod is anchored to the ground with the pier fully released from the trailer during observation.
Should you have interest in further technical or operational details we would
very much appreciate your inquiry by sending us an email.
PDF button will give you a brief technical introduction.
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Anders Hjelset AB