Carlos Cano

Javier Gonzalez

Enrique Hernandez

Roberto Ramirez

ASTA Dimension


The objective of team ASTA project is to design, implement and test a coupled charged device (CCD) camera telescopic spectrograph. Such project has the alternate purpose of providing amateur scientists and astrophysicists with digital CCD spectrography technology at a reasonable price.




For years, amateurs have been using spectroscopes and spectrographs to see and record the spectra of astronomical objects. Traditionally this has been done visually and with film. Now, since Charged-Coupled Devices (CCD) have become much more affordable, amateurs can capture spectra quicker and in a more usable format: digital. Team ASTA solution involves the design, testing and implementation of a CCD camera telescopic spectrograph.  Furthermore, the project outcome will be cost effective, this is because it will be constructed with the most convenient and best performance components in the market (within proposed budget).  The outcome of the project should be a product that delivers quality and performs accurately in the field of CCD.


Method of Completion

In order to complete the project the workload was distributed into 4 main tasks. Each member is responsible of one task and will be the back up for another task.  Moreover, the main part (CCD Camera) will combine efforts from all team members due to its complexity.  The responsibilities were distributed as follows:



Team ASTA found that most CCD cameras are not suitable for astrophotography, and those designed for such purpose resulted to be very expensive for the average amateur scientists.  Therefore, the main issue was to find the most convenient CCD chip and adapt it to a purpose-designed camera.  All this process should, again, be done respecting a budget.



The following schematic is a pictorial representation of the project.  It must be noted that the Image Analysis is actually an analysis of the spectra recorded by the CCD camera.  Moreover, the telescope will capture a visual (planet, start).  Then the light will be passed through the spectrometer (colliminator lens) where light is separated (in parallel fashion) to then be passed through the grating and finally reflected on to the CCD chip.  It is the grating the part that will actually provide the spectra of the focused object.  Once captured by the CCD camera the spectra will be sent to a PC where with specialized software an analysis will be conducted.  At the end the user will have in his/her pc monitor an image of the spectra where he/she will be able to determine the chemical composition of the objects' spectra.




Current State of Project




We would like to thank

Dr. Natalie Clark (NASA Langley RC)

Mr. Robert Rubio

Mr. Tony Woo

Mr. Franz Kuhlmann