Mobile observatories

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.

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.

Making heavy and powerful gear worth-while for urban enthusiasts.

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.

On the other hand, such a semi-mobile observatory will serve just as good as a permanent dome when being stationary and parked. And you will in addition have the big advantage of at least being able to easily move your whole heavy gear to any remote location at any time. Such an able-to-move solution is therefore still a very attractive alternative to a permanent and stationary dome.

The mobile observatories our company presently are developing are however not only the able-to-move solutions but the true ready-to-observe ones. Our trailers are capable of cancelling shocks and vibrations during transport for mounted astro gear of 150 kg and will be launched begin of 2020.

  • Should you have interest in further technical or operational details we would very much appreciate your inquiry by sending us an email.
Phone +46 738 51 50 18
Anders Hjelset AB
Ida Nilssons Gata 30
238 41 Oxie, Sweden