UND Internet Observatory #1 was built in 1996/1997 and was the first Internet-controllable telescope built at the university. Constructed for the purpose of supporting the Space Studies then-new distance Master’s program, the telescope was only sporadically used from 1998-2004. The primary reasons for the lack of use were inadequate institutional support and a lack of funding for both personnel and equipment.
In 2005, this observatory underwent extensive renovation, which involved the removal and replacement of all of the equipment with the sole exception of the telescope, which is a Meade Classic LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain. The addition of new computers, instruments, and automation allowed the observatory to be used in department classes from 2005-2011.
In June 2011, the Meade fork mount ceased operating on Internet Observatory #1. UND Space Studies, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences (JDOSAS), and the UND Aerospace Foundation contributed to the purchase of a Paramount ME, which is a high-quality German equatorial mount manufactured by Software Bisque. This mount was installed and tested during the summer and became operational in September 2011. Internet Observatory #1 is now fully operational and is supporting broadband photometric studies of asteroids and variable stars. This telescope also utilizes RGB filters that are used to create color astro-photographs.
The following are conference abstracts, in PDF format, detailing the history of this observatory
Hardersen, P.S., 2007. The Space Grant Internet Telescope Network: The beginning , National Council of Space Grant Directors Meeting, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Hardersen, P.S., 2007. The Space Grant Internet Telescope Network , National Council of Space Grant Directors Meeting, Washington, D.C.
Hardersen, P.S., de Silva, S., Reddy, V., Cui, P., Kumar, S., Gaffey, M.J., 2006. An Internet observatory for solar system astronomy at the University of North Dakota , Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXVII, Abstract #1074.
Gerszewski, M., Cui, P., Kanupuru, V., Hardersen, P.S., 2004. Software and hardware upgrades for the University of North Dakota Asteroid and Comet Internet Telescope (ACIT) , Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXV, Abstract #1729.
Gerszewski, M., 2002. ACIT: The upgraded and beta test , Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXIII, Abstract #1617.
Wood, C., Heldmann, J., Gerszewski, M., Mattern, A., Schmidt, C., Ryell, J., Langwost, P., 1999. Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXIII, Abstract #1617 ACIT: An Internet-controlled telescope for asteroid and comet research , Lunar Planet. Sci. XXX, Abstract #1839.