Telescope Hosting

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Located on the slopes of Grand Mesa, we are at an elevation of 6150ft in Western Colorado in a region that has low humidity, an abundance of clear nights, and very little light pollution. All of this makes for a near perfect location for serious astronomers and astrophotographers.

Grand Mesa Observatory will be starting its publicly available options with a two stage plan to accommodate telescope hosting:

  • Stage 1 is a 16' wide x 32' long roll off roof that houses 6 piers. (Complete)
  • Stage 2 is a 16’ wide x 16’ long roll off roof adjoining the existing ROR to accommodate another 4 piers. (In Development)

By the end of summer 2018 we will also have two domes for private clients, with one being operated by the United States Air Force and the other by a consortium of universities both locally and nationally. Given the amount of land available we have space for customers who wish to install their own dome or roll-off roof, and for anyone interested we can partner with local contractors to get everything built and installed.

All of our facilities include access to high speed internet for quick data upload, as well as 110 volt and 12 volt power to each pier. We also provide direct access to our MVO weather station and cloud sensor, a sky quality meter, and an all sky camera. The observatory director also lives on site and the assistant director lives next door, so there will be an experienced technician available 24/7 for equipment advice, initial setup of both hardware and software, troubleshooting, and any basic maintenance.

For those interested in starting from scratch we also offer turn-key solutions with equipment specifically selection to suit your imaging goals. Should you decide to go this route we also offer ongoing astro-imaging tutorials for discounted rates,

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The following will be required for all parties wishing to rent out available pier space at the Grand Mesa Observatory. Note that the following fees and and provisions will not apply to parties who may be constructing their own observatories, but we will be happy to help set up any type of custom solution that may be needed.
All prices are in US Dollars and payments are to be made out in advance either monthly or yearly. 

  • On-Site Pier Rental $700.00 USD per month, Paid in Advance, minimum term 12 months. Plus taxes if applicable.
  • Setup cost $500.00
  • Steel Pier $500.00 (or if you prefer you can supply your own pier)
  • Shuttle DS81 Mini PC with Win 7 OS $950.00 (or you supply your own Mini PC)

Included in monthly on-site pier rental:

  • High speed Internet (we have broadband internet 60Mbps down and 60Mbps up)
  • Dropbox for Data Upload
  • Onsite Maintenance and Troubleshooting limited to 5 hours per month, additional time @ $50.00 per hour
  • 110volt (with Web Power Switch) and 12 volt power to each pier
  • Access to weather and cloud station, sky quality meter and an all sky camera.
  • Web Cam monitoring of equipment  

*The setup cost of $500.00 includes assembly and installation of the Pier, Mount, Telescope, CCD, Polar/Drift Alignment and PC and associated hardware supplied by client. We can setup software for additional cost.  

NOT Included in the monthly on-site pier rental:

  • Insurance of your equipment is not included, we can insure for approximately $10.00 per $1,000.00 value.
  • You will need a subscription to Dropbox Pro $99.00
  • It does not include any software or software installation, supplied by client and installed by client once we have established communication. 

You Provide:

  • EQ Mount suitable for Remote Imaging such as a Software Bisque Paramount ME or similar.
  • Imaging camera and all relevant accessories such as filter wheel, filters, and guide setup.
  • Pier that is able to support the aforementioned mount
  • PC (we recommend Shuttle DS81 or similar)
  • All Wiring, Cabling and connections.
  • Mount Hub Pro or similar for remote 12 volt operation.
  • Supply and Install all of your own software for Telescope Control, CCD and Automation.
  • Flip Flap Flat Fielder (we are also looking at a wall mounted LED Flat Field Panel as an alternative) 

What we need to know in advance:

  • Basics of your telescope mount.
  • Your telescope type and aperture.
  • Your time frame for installation.
  • What is the maximum height of your mount to determine height of pier.
  • Or If you are supplying a pier we need to know height.
  • If we are insuring your equipment we need to know the equipment value