In March 2003 our new Observadome observatory dome arrived at the Tenerife site. It had already been prepared for remote operation with the use of Meridian Controls dome automation package. Tom Melsheimer from Meridian Controls came to Tenerife to assemble the dome, with help from us wherever we could provide it!
This image is of the dome control box. Our computers talk to this box to point the dome and operate the dome shutters. The motor to turn the dome is connected to this box directly. There is a radio link to talk to another control box located in the top section of the dome which controls the dome shutters' motor. The top section of the dome is completely isolated from the bottom section in terms of wiring - there is a solar panel which charges a battery to provide power, and the signals to open and close the door use the radio link from the bottom control box. The smaller box underneath is a button box with left, right, open, close and stop buttons.
With the addition of new firmware from Meridian Controls the two control boxes take over the job of closing the dome doors in case of failure in other parts of the system, such as a power cut, communications failure, or software failure.