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A report has been made about a possible upgrade of the autoguider system. This has been prompted due to the frequent difficulties in finding guide stars and the possible arrival of FRED. The deteriorated sensitivity of the camera and the limited field of view (FOV) of the autoguider, due to the large guide head (45 degree mirror mount) are the main reasons guide stars can't be found. Also for FRED the existing system will have no unvignetted autoguider field hence FRED will not be able to be used with autoguiding. A study was carried out into what options for improvement could be made. The preliminary conclusions are, either keep the existing x-y carriage but with a smaller head to increase the FOV, for which CUO has manufactured one, and a new more sensitive camera. Alternatively a fixed large format CCD system, similar to that proposed by CUO for the IIAs 2m telescope could be used, though this would require much more development.

Thomas Augusteijn 2004-01-06