Manoa Astronomical Technologies – Pioneer 01-A


2015.09.16 - 0001-2

Front: Annam Lê, Henry Weiland (Systems Integrator), Nick Alejo Back: Jonathan Weber, Melissa Onishi (Project Manager), Ryan Inouye (Finance Lead), Cody Ichimura Missing: Andy Toothman, Tina Li, Bryant Higa

Mission Statement

“To design and build a precise, transportable telescope that will obtain accurate measurements and serve as an educational platform for future students in a Vertically Integrated Project program aimed towards innovating astronomical instruments.”

Team Goal

To develop core competency involving the physics and application of precision engineering principles necessary to develop astronomical instruments.

Pioneer 01-A

Subsystem overview

The Astronomical Instruments Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) team works on several aspects of precision engineering of telescopes and astronomical instruments. The team is working to build a 12” optical telescope as a platform for testing instruments. This project will also help to develop the core competency and understanding of optical physics necessary to drive the engineering design of other specific instruments. In connection, the team is also developing a full kinematic, dynamic, and thermal model of the UH88 telescope (88” mirror). This model will be used to evaluate renovations to the telescope and to understand the effects that additional test instruments attached to the telescope structure will have on the performance of the telescope. The team is also working on developing mirror mounting models and strategies to limit self-deflection and imposed moments on ever larger mirrors or mirror segments, compact shutters, diffraction grating manufacturing, and design implications of 3-D printing precision parts.

Subsystems: Optical Tube Assembly, Primary Mounting System, Instrument Mounting System, Primary Mirror Cell, Secondary Mirror Cell


Optical Tube Assembly

Solid structure that constrains the objective, primary mirror and diagonal mirror to align with the optical axis.

Primary Mounting System

The mount provides a stable foundation that supports the telescope, allowing it to acquire precise images in the sky.

Instrument Mounting System

Ensures instruments such as the focuser and camera are securely mounted to the telescope.

Primary Mirror Cell

The primary mirror cell is the main component of the telescope that provides support, security and allows collimation adjustment of the main mirror to the optical axis.

Secondary Mirror Cell

An assembly that houses the diagonal mirror and attaches that housing to the telescope.

Team Subsystem Structure

Team Subsystem Structure

The results…


Pioneer 1A’s inaugural run


First Light Image (Jupiter and Europa) taken at UH Manoa – yeah despite the light pollution.

Wanna get involved?

Team Meetings: Mondays 4:30 – 6:00 pm & Wednesdays 3:30 – 6:00 pm at POST 221

Contact Information:

Team Email:

Project Manager:, Melissa Onishi


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