The idea of this site is to provide a resource for anyone with a an interest in Baker-Nunn cameras, their history, and their future. Fifteen of these wonderful instruments were originally built by Boller & Chivens in the late 1950′s for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (12 cameras) and the US Air Force (3 cameras). Their optical design was, even by todays standards, pretty incredible. A very fast f/1 with a 20″ aperture that could image a 5×30 degree swath of sky! Mechanically, they were/are complex but they provided an elegant solution to one of the problems of the day.
- Aperture – 20″
- Focal Ratio – f/1
- Optical Design – Modified Schmidt with 3-element corrector
- Corrector – 3-element with 4 aspherical surfaces
- Primary Mirror – 31″ spherical
- Focal Surface – Aspherical
- Image Quality – 80% energy within a 30um spot
- Mount (SAO) – 3-axis (alt-alt-az)
- Mount (USAF) – 3-axis with option to tilt base to equatorial position
- Number Built – 12 for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and 3 for the US Air Force
- Number of Stations – ca. 30
Very nice idea. Just added you to my blog roll. Looking forward to some more articles and photos.