A powerful telescope you can build at home

A powerful telescope you can build at home

We were interested in making a
telescope that anybody could download and and build
themselves. So obviously one of the things that we wanted to do was make it 3d-printable. So the idea was we’d use
one screw and an allen key. and then you could literally just get the parts and then construct it. The whole thing can be built
for about two hundred pounds. So the idea is to really make the
costs as low as possible. My name is James Parr. I’m the founder the open space agency The open space agencies dedicated to
citizen science, DIY engineering, the do it yourself mentality and the belief that
everyday folks can have their own space programme. We were increasingly interested in how consumer and off-the-shelf technologies
were starting to approach the level of pro technologies ten years ago so the
camera on NASA’s Mars rover is essentially the
same quality as a modern smartphone. The fact that
consumer technology is now evolving so quickly made me
wonder whether it was possible to do and replicate the achievements of the space program using off-the-shelf
technology. And so do that we decided to build the Ultrascope.
Something was really low cost robotic, digital, had the ability to look at objects from multiple
locations and combine those observations in a way that was
meaningful and had scientific validity. As well as being a 3d-printed scope it’s
also robot and any robot has to have brains. So this
is the brain of it which is a Arduino Mega and then we have our own
shield which basically runs the motors and the drivers, and the
Bluetooth controller and this just slots together like that. Then that slots onto the front of the scope So we’ve got the the camera basically of the phone which is how we take images the night
sky and then the images that are taken on the
phone are then sent over 4G to the cloud. Then we can see what we’re
looking at here on our cloud app. And of course when we have hundreds
if not thousands of of these scopes around the world then you will say I wonder what the
skies are going to be like in South Africa say and you’ll be able to dial up that scope and see what that scope’s seeing. So I really love this time of the evening because you can really start to see the shadow of the earth rising So it means we’re not too far away from seeing some stars Which just means it’s time to reveal the mirror So this is the primary mirror. When we get some objects to look, at the
light will come in here bounce off the primary mirror. Bounce up here to the secondary mirror bounces the light into the CCD of the smart phone. So when we started out the open space
agency felt a bit like an art project or something
you know. It seemed so outlandish that it was possible to have your own
space agency. Originally, the big rockets were the things
things that governments could only do, and then business came along we’re seeing that now. We’re now in the domain of
personal space or citizen space. I think the open space agency has a
part to play it really does. As we become a space-faring civilization this so much work to do and I’d love for
OSA to be there when we go to Mars. It might be that it has a NASA logo on the side of the spaceship but you know for some of the experiments to be OSA experiments or perhaps some of the technology that the astronauts use in their space suits it might not be branded but it’ll be there and we’ll know as a bunch
of geeks that we helped get there

40 thoughts on “A powerful telescope you can build at home

  1. Humm, almost 2 years gone by now and still only crappy window$ phone app, (according to their web page), and you have to give them your info to see these so called "open source" plans. Parts are probably done in Solid Works as well, meaning you have to buy a $5000 CAD program to use the "open source" files, (seen it way to many times before with crap like this)….. pffffft… It's these so called projects that give open source a bad name. If it were really "open source", the files would be on github, in IGES/STEP/STL format and include the source code for the app and Arduino. Oh, and a 3.5" Newtonian = "powerful"? And where the hell does one find a 3.5" (89 mm) primary mirror? Have the glass custom cut and grind it your self? Oh, I know, you 3D print the mirror too, right?

  2. I find it funny how he talks about it being open for citizens and everybody to use, but the app for it is only available to the five people who use windows phone.

  3. What the fuck? Where the pictures? I thought he was gonna show us how awesome the fucking telescope is but nothing!!!! Nothing!!!!! Fuck I wasted 4 minutes of my life

  4. Is this scalable, say to a 12" or greater mirror? Can you adapt a more robust camera? Is it possible to multiplex telecams from all of the world simultaneously?

  5. You guys should put on the video title: don't bother opening the video, You WONT be able to see the results

  6. Bollocks £200. The mirror alone is 220! plus the cost of the 3D printer, the computer, the phone/tablet, the printer filaments, the fixtures, fittings and other hardware, not to mention the time and all the extra tools needed!

  7. I was unaware that you can 3D print optical quality mirrors.
    First it was refilling water bottles…
    Now it's user generated iPhone astrophotography with absolutely zero pictures because it doesn't work.

  8. Looks like it went tits up in 2015, probably because you can buy a scope with guiding and object finding for about £300, and you just order it and it arrives.

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