Operations Approach

Telescopes inside the Winer
   Sonoita Facility with the roof closed. The Winer Observatory offers you a site with excellent weather, over three decades of experience in designing, building, and maintaining telescopes and related electronics and software, and a rigorous operational approach that gives you the maximum return on your telescope investment.

If you select Winer to provide the site and maintenance for your remotely-operated telescope, your telescope will be housed in the modern roll-off roof observatory seen at left. The roll-off roof provides the most rapid thermal equalization to reduce turbulent air currents ("dome seeing"). The observatory structure has cooling coils in its floor, and both the observatory and the adjoining maintenance facility have cooling coils in the walls to reduce degradation of local seeing conditions. (Currently, the cooling coils are not used, but are there if needed in the future.) There are six telescope mounting pads flush with the floor built into the observatory. Five pads are 3 feet in diameter and one is 4 feet in diameter. The hole for each pad was dug five feet deep, reinforced with 1/2-inch steel bars, and cast with 3000 psi concrete. This cylinder is isolated from the observatory floor slab by the cardboard concrete form left in place, plus additional "sill-seal" foam wrapped around the top of the form where the slab was poured.

Parts inventory and a well-equipped shop with a milling machine, lathe, plasma cutter, air compressor, MIG welder, and other machine tools, as well as the "warm room" (control room) are located in the same building as the observing area to ensure repairs are made quickly, so your telescope will be able to take advantage of each clear night. The site enjoys an excellent horizon in all directions to maximize your scheduling flexibility. Your telescope will have unrestricted access to southern Arizona skies every clear night.

The building computer and most customer telescope control computers are programmed to keep logs to assist in diagnosing problems in moving the roof or telescopes, or in controlling the instruments. While we check our own observatory logs, each telescope owner is responsible for checking the engineering logs on their own computer(s) and the quality of the data from their telescope, and for reporting problems to Winer maintenance staff. At least one technician will be at the site most evenings during observing hours (the Cooperative Agreement or Contract specifies hours during which the technician may be contacted to report problems). We request that you inspect computer logs frequently, so that most repairs can be made before significant observing time is lost. We will rely on you to detect subtle error sources and to report them to us. We do not anticipate any such problems, but since you are supplying the telescope and its instrument(s) and will be using the data from them, you will be best acquainted with their behavior. We can inventory replacement parts at the observatory to make any needed repairs to your telescope, and will notify you when critical parts need to be replaced from your telescope vendor.

Please consult the fee schedule for what is and is not included in the annual fee and for a general list of liability exclusions and the periods during the year when service is and is not provided. The actual terms and conditions for our services are contained in our Cooperative Agreement or Contract, a sample of which may be obtained by calling or writing to the address on our Contacts Us page.

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Page last updated on: February 18, 2016