Phone: (256) 723-8381

AG Optical Systems Telescope Thermal Control System (TCS)

What is the AG Optical Systems Thermal Control System?

The AG Optical Systems Thermal Control System consists of a PC application, primary mirror cooling fans, primary mirror heater, secondary mirror heater, and three temperature sensors.  Based on user defined settings, the system will automatically trigger cooling fans and/or heaters to speed the cooling of the primary mirror while preventing the formation of dew on the primary mirror and secondary mirror. 

Thermal Control System Components

  • TCS Controller - electronic contol board with long-life relays to energize fans and heater
  • Primary and secondary mirror heaters - custom-made Kapton thin film heaters strategically placed to provide heat to the primary and secondary mirrors to prevent or slow dew formation
  • Cooling fans - three cooling fans located behind primary mirror to facilitate thermal equalization of the primary mirror with ambient air
  • Temperature Sensors - ambient, primary mirror and secondary mirror temperature sensors
  • TCS PC control application - Windows-based application that allows users to control the TCS system


Thermal Control System PC Application Features  
  • Automatic control of cooling fans and mirror heaters
  • User defined thresholds determining when fans or heaters are active
  • USB connectivity to computer
  • 12 VDC power
  • Fahrenheit or Celsius degree display
  • Time stamp logging of temperature readings and fan and heater states
  • Manual mode allowing user control of cooling fans and heaters
  • Duty cycle settings for primary and secondary heaters to manage rate at which heat is applied to mirrors
  • Compact, rugged, CNC-machined housing



AG Optical Systems will periodically update this page as we receive more questions from customers.