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Tenerife Telescope Hardware is the home of the OpenScience Observatories. The Autonomous Robotic Telescope (ART, the former Bradford Robotic Telescope) was decommissioned in 2017, and two new fully autonomous robotic facilities, PIRATE and COAST, have taken its place.

The Open University has installed PIRATE and COAST at the Observatorio del Teide as part of its OpenSTEM Labs initiative that provides remote-access experiments to distance teaching students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. COAST will also become available for anyone to use, by subscription via, much as was the case for ART.

Construction began in Spring 2016 with the preparation of concrete foundations and utility supply, while the installation of the clam-shell 4.5m and 3.5m Baader Planetarium All-Sky domes and their astronomical hardware was completed in August 2016. The formal inauguration on 6 July 2017 marks the end of the commissioning phase.


PIRATE (Physics Innovations Robotic Astronomical Telescope Explorer) has moved from its former home at the Observatori Astronomic de Mallorca and is continuing its photometric monitoring programme of variable stars, transients and transiting exoplanets. The 17 inch f/6.8 Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph telescope (a PlaneWave CDK17) is equipped with an FLI ProLine KAF-16803 CCD camera and a choice of broadband and narrow-band filters. The mount is a 10Micron GM4000 robotic German equatorial model.


COAST (COmpletely Autonomous Survey Telescope) consists of a 14 inch f/10 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (a Celestron 14), equipped with an FLI ProLine KAF-0900 CCD camera, broadband and narrow-band filters, also mounted on a GM4000.

The control software, Abot by Sybilla Technologies, supports fully autonomous operations in queue-scheduled mode as well as remote-controlled real-time use for both facilities.


Dome Baader Planetarium All-Sky 4.5m Baader Planetarium All-Sky 3.5m
Mount 10Micron GM4000 10Micron GM4000
OTA CDK17 corrected Dall-Kirkham Celestron 14 Schmidt-Cassegrain
Aperture 17 inch (42 cm) 14 inch (35 cm)
Focal length 2940 mm (f/6.8) 3910 mm (f/11)
Camera FLI ProLine KAF-16803 FLI ProLine KAF-09000
CCD KAF-16803, 4096x4096 KAF-09000, 3056x3056
Pixel size 9 microns 12 microns
Filters Clear, Johnson U B V R I, Baader Halpha, OIII and SII Clear, Johnson BVR, Halpha, OIII and SII
Field of view 43 arcmin 33 arcmin
Plate scale 0.63 arcsec/px 0.65 arcsec/px

Until 20/05/2018 COAST used an SBIG STL1001E camera with Kodak 1024x1024 24 micron pixel size CCD (29 arcmin field of view, 1.7 arcsec/px plate scale) and Johnson BVRI filters.

© 2021 The Open University