Rooftop Fireball Camera Installation

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DFNSMALL and DFNEXT installations in Australia

DFN observatories need to be securely mounted as the images used for calibration can be captured a few hours or days (in the case of a full moon) apart from the actual fireball event. Standalone ground based installation using a stand provides the best stability, but is not always practical due to site constraints or an obscured horizon. Roof mounting can be a convenient alternative in some situations. The observatories must be pointed as close to the vertical as possible, so the incline of the roof will need to be taken into account. The observatories should be bolted into the rafters if possible, not just the roof surface, to minimise wind movements, and (possibly) movement due to thermal expansion of the roof surface.

Roof mounts can be built entirely from parts found from a hardware store. The DFN has successfully used shelving brackets, aluminium angle or square hollow section assembled with bolts and aluminium channel with modular connectors:

DFNEXT installations in Morocco

Photos courtesy of Moroccan Observatory for Fireball Detections (MOFID)

Mounting Pattern

The observatory has four M8 mounting bolts in a 185x185 mm square pattern.

DFNEXT and DFNSMALL mounting pattern.svg

File:DFNEXT and DFNSMALL mounting pattern (PDF format).pdf


DXF drawing exports for laser cutting:

  • Small DFNEXT/DFNSMALL 2mm aluminium sunshield for cold/moderate climate areas 20170330_Sunshield_2mm_Al.dxf
    • Important: the GPS antenna mount point od the small sunshield needs to be bent / dropped a bit not to block the fielad of view of the all-sky fish eye lenses.

20171011 135614 Sunshield 1200.jpg]

See these images: Arizona DFNEXT system, Granum camera system in Alberta, Canada

  • Large DFNEXT/DFNSMALL 2mm aluminium sunshield for hot climate areas 20191218_large_dfnext_sunshield_2mm_aluminum.dxf
    • Similar with the large sunshield - needs to be bent, see the images above. This new design was improved by adding slits along the bend line, which makes the bending a lot easier in the field.

Securing the Power Adapter

(to be completed) weatherproof box, conduit

Sheet Metal Roof Mount

depending on the results of some analysis of historical pointing stability data, we may design and upload CAD files for a bent sheet metal roof mount at some point in the future