The DFNEXT fireball observatory is a revision of the DFN's digital fireball observatory specifically created to facilitate the global fireball observatory. It is the successor to the DFNSMALL design. The primary objective of the revision was to make maintenance easier for collaborators.
The first production run of EXT systems started in January 2017 and the first deployed system was DFNEXT006 at Northam in March 2017.
It has a number of advantages over previous versions:
- Three 3.5 inch HDDs that EXTend the service interval up to 20 months (using 10 TB drives)
- Digital video camera
- More powerful PC
- A revised internal layout to make changing drives significantly easier
- More durable crimped wire to board connectors aimed at improving reliability
- Simplified internal wiring made possible by moving more functionality onto the PCB
- A significantly more modular design that makes assembly and maintenance easier
- Quieter fan and the capability to add up to ≈200W of enclosure heating
- Digital temperature and humidity sensor, firmware based temperature regulation
- Weatherproof external Ethernet and USB connectors
- More durable and easier to manufacture outer blower duct
- More efficient switching regulators
- The LC shutter is driven at a regulated 18 V instead of unregulated 12 V battery voltage to increases contrast between the open and closed states and make the closed state transmission consistent irrespective of battery voltage
Assembly, deployment and maintenance
To assemble the remote observatory follow the instructions found in DFNEXT Assembly.