SDO SlabThe Sundance Observatory was designed to accommodate several capabilities. First, it was to house up to a 16 to 20 inch catadioptric telescope. Second, it was to be elevated at a second floor level to provide better visibility to the horizon. Third, it is to be designed for astrophotography. This latter point required that the pier system that supports the mount be isolated from the building and any other source of vibration. The first step was to pour the slab in a manner that would accommodate a concrete pier system that would provide vibration free support to the second level. On the right, the slab can be seen with a three foot diameter hole (a sonotube filled with dirt) that was later used to provide access to the limestone for the concrete pier.

Squaring the structureOnce the slab was poured, the wall support structures were put up as can be seen at the left. To support the Technical Innovations HD10 Dome, a 10' 7.5" square was assembled at the right height to support the RS-10 Rectangular Skirt. This part is critical and any errors will be compounded as you try to install the fiberglass RS-10 skirt that lies under the base ring of the dome.

FramingWith the OSB in place, it is now coming to shape. One of the challenges was the roof over the control room (to the right of the observatory). We decided on a single slope to the roof, but of course that means that the highest point on the slope must be below the RS-10 Rectangular Skirt around the dome base ring. This all worked out well, because the high point of the sloped roof over the control room is still below the framing for the RS-10.

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