Our space-communicationsantenna array includes a camera that looks in the direction that the array is pointing. This camera helps us check that we are aiming directly at the moon during EME attempts. In addition, when it lets us see airplanes that may be the source of interfering signals when we conduct radio-astronomy observations.
The camera is constantly aimed toward the sky, so it may eventually be pointing straight at the Sun, risking damage to the image sensor. For this reason, we added a solenoid-actuated shutter that keeps the camera shaded at all times that we are not using it. The solenoid requires 12VDC from our indoor power-supply to open.
In addition, we incorporated various ways of dealing with humidity and window fogging, including a 50? heating resistor, a fan to circulate air within the camera, and a large pack of silica gel. The window heater and fan activate under the control of a condensation sensor whenever the camera is powered.
Inside the shack, a small black-and-white TV was converted to act as the camera’s monitor.