Centurion 18 is not your "telescope
1999 prototype image
It is neither an SCT,
refractor, Maksutov, nor Newtonian.
It is totally designed to deliver optimal deep
sky CCD imaging
in the form of an amateur
sized telescope, but without the old standard
human interface, the eyepiece.
Centurion 18 & ST- 2000 CCD.
An optimal balance between focal length (field of view),
focal ratio (exposure time) and image scale (again, focal length)
with typical seeing included was considered. After a little thought
it became obvious that a 50"focal length and f/2.8
speed which dictated an 18"aperture would be
an ideal system. A large field of view covering up to a 35mm
film format while possessing sharpness par with 7 micron sized
pixels narrowed down the optical design choices, while the marketability
/cost concerns defined a feature set such as computer control,
mount type and tube style.
Based on this, a design was chosen
utilizing a hyperbolic primary mirror and field corrector lens
assembly. Some later work at Kitt Peak, helping on a new technology
50" telescope, inspired the overall mechanical design. Soon
after, a world class optical designer was contracted to design
the Centurion 18 optics and a large prototype project