Support facilities near the summit, include a central control room, a coating and service building, a site monitoring facility and an observer’s residence down the hill close to the city of Qamu. The service building is in the off wind direction of the INO340 and lower in height. Other facilities such as a 1m telescope is also planned. The site monitoring station is already installed and is operational.
Coating and Service Building
The enclosure of Iranian national observatory is a hexadecagonal building. The fixed part of the enclosure has a concrete or steel structure which will be cladded by sandwich panels. The same kind of cladding could cover the steel structure of rotating dome. The diameter and height of fixed part will be around 15 and 9.5m respectively. Wheels, bogies, dust trapper, dome drive mechanisms and also electric power transmission system will be located in the interface between fixed and rotating part of enclosure and that’s why the dome will transform to a so called “skirt” in this area. This skirt could be formed by a local increase in dome diameter which extends over cladding of enclosure fixed part. The fixed part of the enclosure provides 4 floors including the observing floor in the dome area, the dome and the floors below are actively cooled to maintain night time temperature during the day.
In 2009 the Iranian National Observatory made a public request for proposal and by relying on domestic expertise began the process of designing the three buildings of the enclosure, the support station and the observer’s residence. Among the essential questions at the design process was if the location of the observers residence, which is also the logistic station of the astronomers, employees and office space of the observatory can be placed at an elevation of 3200m close to the enclosure.
Although parts of the design work had advanced towards this direction, international consultancy showed that this elevation bears health risks for the employees and the residence was moved down the hill close to the city of Qamu. This move will also result in cost reductions during the construction and the maintenance.