RCT update on blank images/guiding

Several have noticed the following behavior in the last few nights with the RCT:

  • Several images are blank, likely with the dome completely in the way
  • The centering of the field seems to drift from night to night
  • At high hour angle, there is significant trailing in the images. There is still notable “coma” in images near zenith
  • I believe these are all symptoms of the encoder slippage and worm gear oscillation. I believe they needing cleaning/re-greasing. I’ve put in a service request with KPNO. I still think part of the PSF is mirror support related, but we wont know for sure until we eliminate the other sources of confusion.

    Tonight I was able to zero point the telescope, and test the guider. It appears that the pointing tolerance for accurate guiding is about 15″, or ~20 pix from the absolute center of the chip. Guiding works better now, but it does not improve the PSF substantially.

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